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Lessons From The Navy's LCS Acquisition...  
User currently offlineMedAv From United States of America, joined Mar 2008, 80 posts, RR: 0
Posted (6 years 4 months 4 weeks 9 hours ago) and read 15187 times:

I know this forum is for military aviation, but this NY Times article (see below) on the Navy's Littoral Combat Ship acquisition process details many lessons that have been learned (at steep taxpayer expense, of course) that are applicable to all military acquisitions. The three big things I, and apparently/hopefully the Pentagon as well, took out of the whole thing are:

- You must set fixed prices/budgets for these things, otherwise bidders just set the expectations low, then just charge the taxpayers for "cost overruns"

- Similar to above, the intense competition leads bidders to put forward highly accelerated processes, which almost always causes the programs to fall behind schedule, especially when it's dealing with a completely new ac/ship, even when the contract does have some penalties, sorta similar to what we see in the airliner industry these days.

- What's good for the commercial industry does not always/usually fit military applications.

Here's part of the article:

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/04/25/us/25ship.html

Quote:


With the crack of a Champagne bottle against its bow, the newly minted Navy warship, bedecked with bunting, slid sideways into the Menominee River in Wisconsin with a titanic splash.

Moments before the launching on Sept. 23, 2006, Adm. Mike Mullen, the chief of naval operations, told the festive crowd of shipbuilders, politicians and Navy brass assembled at the Marinette Marine shipyard, “Just a little more than three years ago, she was just an idea; now Freedom stands before us.”

Not quite. The ship — the first of a new class of versatile, high-speed combat vessels designed to operate in coastal waters — was indeed bobbing in the river, just four months after the promised launching date. But it was far from finished. In fact, the ship floats there still, work continuing day and night.

A project heralded as the dawning of an innovative, low-cost era in Navy shipbuilding has turned into a case study of how not to build a combat ship. The bill for the ship, being built by Lockheed Martin, has soared to $531 million, more than double the original, and by some calculations could be $100 million more. With an alternate General Dynamics prototype similarly struggling at an Alabama shipyard, the Navy last year temporarily suspended the entire program.
....



40 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineKC135TopBoom From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 12146 posts, RR: 51
Reply 1, posted (6 years 4 months 3 weeks 6 days 2 hours ago) and read 15041 times:

The artical in the NYT is really misleading. First, launching a ship down the ways never means the ship is complete. It must be towed to be fitted out at another dock.

Next, most of the LCS cost overruns are due to changes in design the USN made after the ships were laid down.

Finally, the USN has totally mis-managed the USN mission of NSFS for the USMC and US Army. The USN does not want to risk any warship within the lettorials, even though it does have access to warships built to survive there, the BBs.

While the Navy mis-manages the LCS, DD-1000, AGS, and other new systems and warships, they continue to keep their ships 25nm out to sea, while Marines need Naval Artillery.

The Navy wants to support the troops with ATAMs and TACAIR.


User currently offlineLMP737 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 2, posted (4 years 11 months 2 weeks 2 hours ago) and read 14072 times:

There was a recent article in Proceedings magazine about the LCS. One part in it that caught my eye is the Israelis evaluated the design for their navy. However they found it to lightly armed for their needs. Which sounds about right, one 57mm Bofors, one RAM launcher and two .50 cals is a bit light. This of course means the LCS cannot engage other surface ships out of range of the 57mm and is totally defenseless against subs. Maybe the USN should have taken an existing design and have a US shipyard build it.

User currently offlineLMP737 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 3, posted (4 years 11 months 1 week 3 days 4 hours ago) and read 13787 times:

Here's the article in full.

http://www.usni.org/magazines/procee...gs/archive/story.asp?STORY_ID=2028


User currently offlineLMP737 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 4, posted (3 years 8 months 1 week 6 days 8 hours ago) and read 12404 times:

With the recent talk about "efficencies" over at the DOD I have to scratch my head over this one.

http://www.aviationweek.com/aw/gener...%20LCS%20Combat%20System%20Debated


User currently offlineKiwiRob From New Zealand, joined Jun 2005, 7389 posts, RR: 5
Reply 5, posted (3 years 8 months 1 week 6 days 7 hours ago) and read 12373 times:

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 1):
First, launching a ship down the ways never means the ship is complete. It must be towed to be fitted out at another dock.

Not entirely true, some ships are launched in a far more completed state than others, the latest Type 45's are being launched in a far more completed state that the first, some ships are even launched completed, which is usually the case with a submaine.


User currently offlinepar13del From Bahamas, joined Dec 2005, 7213 posts, RR: 8
Reply 6, posted (3 years 8 months 1 week 6 days 6 hours ago) and read 12336 times:

Big thing for me is what is being taught at the various Naval Acadamies / Schools, why do they have to go to private companies for designs?

If ship design is a subjec in Naval Colleges - heaven forbid - you have designers on the payroll and tons of experience in real world field application, the only thing lacking is the production facilities, which would be all that have to be paid for.

A number of young men and women join the military services for reasons other than carring a gun and going into combat, if the civilian industry gets all the military jobs such as maintenance, design etc. what's left for an actual military technician?
No way is it cheaper to pay a civilian technician when you can use a military personnel already on the payroll who only requires speciliazed training.

I understand the need for new technology, but at least in terms of the Navy, a lot of their enhancements probably come from the school of hard knocks, indeed it would be good to get a breakdown of the percentage of the cost of physical structures versus software in relation to say an Aegis Destroyer, the cost of software has only been rising in recent times, any major improvements in laying a keel or working with steel and aluminium?


User currently offlineKen777 From United States of America, joined Mar 2004, 8276 posts, RR: 8
Reply 7, posted (3 years 8 months 5 days 7 hours ago) and read 11868 times:

It is concerning to see the Navy having so many problems with new ships.


First we read that the DDG-1000 needs to be some distance away from danger. Since I can remember clearly seeing the shoreline of Vietnam daily from a DDG a few hundred yards off shore I tend to get irritated at a "Delicate Class" DDG.

Same with the LCS's. It seems that there is no one left in the Navy with close in combat operations and we're seeing the results. One concern I have is the very ow crew count. Sometimes it takes more than a minimum crew to fight a ship - especially when needing damage control.

We may now have orders for 10 of each version, but the Navy (and contractors) had better perform at a far higher level if they want more than this initial order.


User currently offlineKC135TopBoom From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 12146 posts, RR: 51
Reply 8, posted (3 years 8 months 5 days 6 hours ago) and read 11847 times:

Quoting KiwiRob (Reply 5):
some ships are even launched completed, which is usually the case with a submaine.

I don't know about RN or RAN subs, but USN SSNs and SSBNs still need fitting out after the slide down the ways. The DDG-51 class and USCGCs (except ice breakers) are not complete when they launch, they go to fitting out. Launching the ship early also clears the ways for the next ship to be constructed.

Quoting KiwiRob (Reply 5):
some ships are launched in a far more completed state than others, the latest Type 45's are being launched in a far more completed state that the first,

They still are not 'completed'. Usually weapons systems are added at the fitting out dock. This is true even for the current Type-45 DDs, and the 3 remaining ones yet to be built.

Also added at the fitting out dock is delicate electronics and computersystems, while all the needed wiring is added on the ways.


User currently offlineLMP737 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 9, posted (2 years 5 months 3 days 17 hours ago) and read 9533 times:

More on the continuing saga of the LCS.

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/06/us...s-but-presidents-backing.html?_r=1


User currently offlineZANL188 From United States of America, joined Oct 2006, 3523 posts, RR: 0
Reply 10, posted (2 years 5 months 3 days 11 hours ago) and read 9453 times:
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Quoting par13del (Reply 6):
No way is it cheaper to pay a civilian technician when you can use a military personnel already on the payroll who only requires speciliazed training.

Civilians don't retire at 38, so the civvies are in fact much cheaper.

Myself I retired out of the USAF at 42. I've been drawing pension and medical benefits since. Had I been a civilian I would've been 60 or 65 before I could retire.



Legal considerations provided by: Dewey, Cheatum, and Howe
User currently offlineRevelation From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 12561 posts, RR: 25
Reply 11, posted (2 years 5 months 3 days 9 hours ago) and read 9400 times:

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 1):
Next, most of the LCS cost overruns are due to changes in design the USN made after the ships were laid down.

The article makes that exact point, so why are you crapping on the article?

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 1):
While the Navy mis-manages the LCS, DD-1000, AGS, and other new systems and warships, they continue to keep their ships 25nm out to sea, while Marines need Naval Artillery.

The Navy wants to support the troops with ATAMs and TACAIR.

The Navy and the Marines have to make up their mind.

There isn't enough money around to invest in each and every approach.

I thought the idea behind investing in the Osprey was so that we didn't have to storm the beaches behind BBs lobbing unguided shells into the coastal towns. I thought the idea behind precision guided munitions (GPS and laser guided bombs, air and sea launched cruise missiles, etc) also was so we didn't have to spray shells around.

You seem to be thinking more along the lines of another Normandy style invasion.



Inspiration, move me brightly!
User currently offlineLMP737 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 12, posted (2 years 5 months 2 days 8 hours ago) and read 9224 times:

Another thing that gets me about the LCS is the purely political decision of picking both versions for the USN.

User currently offlinetugger From United States of America, joined Apr 2006, 5604 posts, RR: 8
Reply 13, posted (2 years 5 months 2 days 4 hours ago) and read 9161 times:

Quoting ZANL188 (Reply 10):
Civilians don't retire at 38, so the civvies are in fact much cheaper.

Myself I retired out of the USAF at 42. I've been drawing pension and medical benefits since. Had I been a civilian I would've been 60 or 65 before I could retire.

Shhh, don't tell people that. The military is hero's and we can't touch them, their pay, their retirement, or their medical or you will be branded for life. Of course we need to change it completely but the sound-bite patriots (politicians and unthinking American's) won't allow it.

The ships and the shift of risk form the manufacturers to the taxpayers (due to a constant changing or requirements by the military leadership) is ridiculous. A billion dollars for a DDX, making it a ship you can't use because you can't afford to lose it? It's insane, it has to end.

Tugg



I don’t know that I am unafraid to be myself, but it is hard to be somebody else. -W. Shatner
User currently offlineMD11Engineer From Germany, joined Oct 2003, 14026 posts, RR: 62
Reply 14, posted (2 years 5 months 2 days 3 hours ago) and read 9133 times:

Quoting par13del (Reply 6):
A number of young men and women join the military services for reasons other than carring a gun and going into combat, if the civilian industry gets all the military jobs such as maintenance, design etc. what's left for an actual military technician?

That´s actually a thing I wonder about. E.g. the German Luftwaffe lets most maintenance in peacetime on their combat aircraft be carried out by civilian employees (possibly because they are cheaper than soldiers). Now what happens in a war? You can´t just order a civilian to relocate to a frontline combat base and carry on. On the other hand there are not enough soldiers trained to take over.

Jan


User currently offlineBMI727 From United States of America, joined Feb 2009, 15744 posts, RR: 27
Reply 15, posted (2 years 5 months 1 day 22 hours ago) and read 9060 times:

Quoting MedAv (Thread starter):
- You must set fixed prices/budgets for these things, otherwise bidders just set the expectations low, then just charge the taxpayers for "cost overruns"

Do you want to send our soldiers and sailors to battle with lower quality equipment because contractors are trying to squeeze some profit out of a fixed price contract?



Why do Aerospace Engineering students have to turn things in on time?
User currently offlinepar13del From Bahamas, joined Dec 2005, 7213 posts, RR: 8
Reply 16, posted (2 years 5 months 1 day 14 hours ago) and read 8993 times:

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 15):
Do you want to send our soldiers and sailors to battle with lower quality equipment because contractors are trying to squeeze some profit out of a fixed price contract?

Nice way to phrase the issue, but when cost increase by more than 50% does the word squeeze come into play or milk?
How about the designer being incompetent in not properly knowing what they want and the contractor simply doing what he is told to do and charging for it even though he knows when he puts in half a tank to save weight the a/c is going to run out of fuel on lift off, its about saving weight right?
Yea I know, I read a lot about the initial F-18 when the Navy resurrected it after the F-16 won.


User currently offlineKC135TopBoom From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 12146 posts, RR: 51
Reply 17, posted (2 years 5 months 1 day 12 hours ago) and read 8973 times:

Quoting Revelation (Reply 11):
I thought the idea behind investing in the Osprey was so that we didn't have to storm the beaches behind BBs lobbing unguided shells into the coastal towns. I thought the idea behind precision guided munitions (GPS and laser guided bombs, air and sea launched cruise missiles, etc) also was so we didn't have to spray shells around.

You seem to be thinking more along the lines of another Normandy style invasion.

Well, so is the USN, USMC, and US Army. Why else would they be building the San Antonio class LPDs filled with helios, LCACs, and LCUs to get the troops and their equipment ashore in a forced beach assault? The US Amry has the LCU-2000 class and the USN has the LCU-1610/-1627/-1646 classes.

Quoting ZANL188 (Reply 10):
Quoting par13del (Reply 6):No way is it cheaper to pay a civilian technician when you can use a military personnel already on the payroll who only requires speciliazed training.
Civilians don't retire at 38, so the civvies are in fact much cheaper.

Myself I retired out of the USAF at 42. I've been drawing pension and medical benefits since.

So am I, 22 years in the USAF. But civilian contractor work for the US Military is much cheaper for the DOD, even though those civilians get much higher wages than the military does. The DOD saves money because they don't have to house, feed, cloth and pay benefits to the contractors. In many cases they also don't have to transport them around the globe.

Military personnel get to retire with full benefits and 50% of base pay (not gross pay which includes BAS, BHA, flight pay, sea pay, combat/hazardous duty pay, etc) after 20 years of service due to the work conditions, family seperation, etc. Military forces do not get paid overtime, yet can be made to work 12 on and 12 off for unlimited amounts of time if needed. Military life is not for everyone and enlisting/reenlisting is a set contract with the government.


User currently offlineMD11Engineer From Germany, joined Oct 2003, 14026 posts, RR: 62
Reply 18, posted (2 years 5 months 1 day 11 hours ago) and read 8955 times:

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 15):
Quoting MedAv (Thread starter):
- You must set fixed prices/budgets for these things, otherwise bidders just set the expectations low, then just charge the taxpayers for "cost overruns"

Do you want to send our soldiers and sailors to battle with lower quality equipment because contractors are trying to squeeze some profit out of a fixed price contract?

Simple solution: Set very strict specs. If the product doesn´t meet the specifications impose contractual fines.

Jan

[Edited 2012-04-21 07:59:23]

User currently offlinelegs From Australia, joined Jun 2006, 240 posts, RR: 0
Reply 19, posted (2 years 5 months 1 day 3 hours ago) and read 8882 times:

Quoting MD11Engineer (Reply 14):
You can´t just order a civilian to relocate to a frontline combat base and carry on.

I'm one of those civilians contracted to do maintenance for my countries Air Force, and there is a framework in our contract with them to provide support during a combat deployment. I doubt it will ever happen, but theoretically it could. Our (technical staff) employment agreement lays out some basic requirements for just that situation.


User currently offlineLMP737 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 20, posted (2 years 5 months 9 hours ago) and read 8810 times:

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 17):
Military personnel get to retire with full benefits and 50% of base pay (not gross pay which includes BAS, BHA, flight pay, sea pay, combat/hazardous duty pay, etc) after 20 years of service due to the work conditions, family seperation, etc


That's why the majority of people who join the military don't end up staying in for twenty years. To hard on your family and on your body. Guess one way to save on the military retirement system is to make the retirement age 65. No one would retire because there would be no way you could make to that age.

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 17):
Military forces do not get paid overtime, yet can be made to work 12 on and 12 off for unlimited amounts of time if needed.


Heck, I remember working sixteen hours on more than on occasion. A lot easier to do when your nineteen though.

Back on subject.

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-0...hip-develops-cracks-navy-says.html


User currently offlineKC135TopBoom From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 12146 posts, RR: 51
Reply 21, posted (2 years 5 months 2 hours ago) and read 8723 times:

Quoting MD11Engineer (Reply 18):
Quoting BMI727 (Reply 15):Quoting MedAv (Thread starter):
- You must set fixed prices/budgets for these things, otherwise bidders just set the expectations low, then just charge the taxpayers for "cost overruns"

Do you want to send our soldiers and sailors to battle with lower quality equipment because contractors are trying to squeeze some profit out of a fixed price contract?

Simple solution: Set very strict specs. If the product doesn
[quote=MD11Engineer,reply=18]Simple solution: Set very strict specs. If the product doesn´t meet the specifications impose contractual fines.

Contractors just pay the fines while the troops are left with trash for weapons systems. Then the contractors develope a fix to bring the systems up to specs, and charge the governments millions of USD or Euros. Didn't the Luftwaffe have trouble with its new NH-90TTH/CSAR as they were delivered, and couldn't use them in combat. I am sure the problemns were eventually fixed by EADS to the Luftwaffe's satifaction, but now I understand they are giving these helios to the Army.


User currently offlineL-188 From United States of America, joined Jul 1999, 29799 posts, RR: 58
Reply 22, posted (2 years 4 months 2 weeks 6 days 21 hours ago) and read 8323 times:

Quoting Revelation (Reply 11):
You seem to be thinking more along the lines of another Normandy style invasion.

Actually I am thinking in terms of a LCS/Frigate/Destroyer providing ground fire support much in the way the RN provided it to SAS crews making raids on Port Stanley and other locations in the Falklands. From what I read that gunfire was highly accurate and hard hitting.

But the RN in that conflict was shooting a 4.5 inch gun. The USN on the other hand has been regressing from a 5 inch (127)mm to a 3 inch (76.2) to a 57mm gun. You can't tell me the latter can provide effective fire support. The sheel just simply lacks the weight for an effective weapon in that role.

The US Army had similar problems in Iraq. When operating in small towns the M1 Abrams was often not able to be used to provide cover and fire support for troops because it couldn't turn the turret without banging it off a building or something. So Bradleys with their 25mm where used to attack buildings...It they needed something heavier it was the TOW missile onboard that had to be shot.

Couple of problems here. 1 the TOW has only a HEAT warhead. It will go boom but it isn't the most effective weapon for blowing up everybody in a building. What really was needed was a weapon that could fire different types of ammo, HEAT, Beehive ect. That weapon was the old recoiless rifle that the TOW missle replaced back in the 1970's.

Also each round costs about six grand vs. 250k for the TOW. Of course the US never pulled any of the old M40's out of depot for use.

Now in the interests of full disclosure, In normandy the USN did provide gunfire support with their quad 40's but only under a specific situation. The LST's would run up on the beach just in front of a MG pillboxt and pump 40mm into it at essentially point blank range...hardly typical fire support.

Quoting MD11Engineer (Reply 14):
That´s actually a thing I wonder about. E.g. the German Luftwaffe lets most maintenance in peacetime on their combat aircraft be carried out by civilian employees (possibly because they are cheaper than soldiers). Now what happens in a war? You can´t just order a civilian to relocate to a frontline combat base and carry on.

When I was in during the early 1990's they talked about the KP problem they had during Desert Storm. Because most of the base chow halls went to civilian KP there wasn't enough cooks to take to the desert.....and the civilians wheren't going of course.

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 17):
Well, so is the USN, USMC, and US Army. Why else would they be building the San Antonio class LPDs filled with helios, LCACs, and LCUs to get the troops and their equipment ashore in a forced beach assault? The US Amry has the LCU-2000 class and the USN has the LCU-1610/-1627/-1646 classes.

The US really has gotten into this bigger is better mode and it does scare me, because if you loose a large LHD you loose a heck of a lot of assets? Wouldn't it be better to have more of a smaller ship so that you spread it around and if you loose one ship you don't loose all of your support?



OBAMA-WORST PRESIDENT EVER....Even SKOORB would be better.
User currently offlineThePointblank From Canada, joined Jan 2009, 1720 posts, RR: 0
Reply 23, posted (2 years 4 months 2 weeks 6 days 20 hours ago) and read 8316 times:

Quoting MD11Engineer (Reply 18):
Simple solution: Set very strict specs. If the product doesn´t meet the specifications impose contractual fines.

Problem becomes scope creep forced upon by the customer.... as this funny movie shows:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aXQ2lO3ieBA

Scope creep has killed more than one program in the past; VH-71 comes to mind.


User currently offlineLMP737 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 24, posted (1 year 5 months 3 weeks 3 days 8 hours ago) and read 5091 times:

Shocking!

http://finance.yahoo.com/news/ships-...irepower--navy-told-154342721.html


User currently offlineKC135TopBoom From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 12146 posts, RR: 51
Reply 25, posted (1 year 5 months 2 weeks 5 days 4 hours ago) and read 4772 times:

The KC-46A contract is a fixed price contract. It seems to be doing well at 30% into the development program.

User currently offlineGeezer From United States of America, joined Aug 2010, 1479 posts, RR: 2
Reply 26, posted (1 year 5 months 2 weeks 3 days 21 hours ago) and read 4579 times:

Quoting KiwiRob (Reply 5):
some ships are even launched completed, which is usually the case with a submaine.

Rob; you seem to know something I don't about U.S. Navy submarines; I was "aboard" a submarine tender that spent 85% of it's time tied up to the State Pier in New London, CT. , about 800 yards across the Thames River from Electric Boat Div of General Dynamics, where about 2/3 of the U.S. Navy's submarines were built at "back then", and I can guarantee you, no submarine ever launched at Electric Boat was EVER "ready" to go to sea when it was launched.
And that includes the one launched on Jan.21, 1954, ( which just happened to be the first vessel in history to be powered by a nuclear reactor ), and even SSN-571 Nautilis had to tie up and finish "fitting out" before heading out to sea about 3 months later.

If you are wondering how I'm able to remember that date, it's easy; I had to get up and walk 10 feet to look at the date on the "center-piece" sitting on my mantel, commemorating the occasion, which was presented to me about 4 hours later over at the Sub Base by Mrs. Mamie Eisenhower. ( But that's another story )

Charley



Stupidity: Doing the same thing over and over and over again and expecting a different result; Albert Einstein
User currently offlineBMI727 From United States of America, joined Feb 2009, 15744 posts, RR: 27
Reply 27, posted (1 year 5 months 2 weeks 3 days 20 hours ago) and read 4589 times:

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 25):
The KC-46A contract is a fixed price contract. It seems to be doing well at 30% into the development program.

Fixed price contracts can work for things like the KC-46. It's a derivative design that doesn't require a ton of development work. You could never embark on a project like the F-35 with fixed price contracts.



Why do Aerospace Engineering students have to turn things in on time?
User currently offlineKC135TopBoom From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 12146 posts, RR: 51
Reply 28, posted (1 year 5 months 2 weeks 3 days 3 hours ago) and read 4442 times:

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 27):
Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 25):The KC-46A contract is a fixed price contract. It seems to be doing well at 30% into the development program.
Fixed price contracts can work for things like the KC-46. It's a derivative design that doesn't require a ton of development work. You could never embark on a project like the F-35 with fixed price contracts.

Perhaps we should have seeing how the F-35 is a financial disaster.

But we are talking about the LCS, two classes of warships that will never be used in the littorals. The Freedom class is only about 2,900 tons, the Independence class about 2,200 tons, yet they each cost 75% of the costs of a DDG-51 class (also called the Arleigh Burke class) missile/AEGIS/destroyer, some are now equipped for missile defense. The Burke class weighs about 9,200 tons, more than 3X the displacement of the Freedom class, and more than 4X the displacement of the Independence class.


User currently offlineOzair From Australia, joined Jan 2005, 849 posts, RR: 1
Reply 29, posted (1 year 5 months 2 weeks 2 days 23 hours ago) and read 4391 times:

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 28):
The Freedom class is only about 2,900 tons, the Independence class about 2,200 tons, yet they each cost 75% of the costs of a DDG-51 class (also called the Arleigh Burke class) missile/AEGIS/destroyer, some are now equipped for missile defense.

How about actually providing the figures instead of a percentage because when you compare the numbers your 75% is completely and utterly wrong.

From the article quoted above on the LCS issues, "its price has doubled since 2005 to $440 million per vessel" http://finance.yahoo.com/news/ships-...irepower--navy-told-154342721.html

From wikipedia (with a reliable source document) for DDG 114-116 $1843 million per vessel while DDG113 was 2200 million.

So instead of an LCS costing 75% of a DDG-51 they actually cost closer to 25%.

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 28):
The Burke class weighs about 9,200 tons, more than 3X the displacement of the Freedom class, and more than 4X the displacement of the Independence class.

Guess that means per tonnage the US Navy is paying about the right price.....

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 28):

Perhaps we should have seeing how the F-35 is a financial disaster.

Perhaps not. Instead of a delayed and over budget in service date a fixed price contact would almost certainly have resulted in the contractor merely walking away and the DoD being left without both a plane and their money.

Back to the LCS. I agree the program has some serious issues including being under armed. This could be easily changed and I wonder how hard it would be to fit 16-24 vertical launch tubes to a mission module and a pod mounted AESA radar to the upper superstructure. Suddenly the vessel goes from under armed to equivalent or above competitors.


User currently offlineThePointblank From Canada, joined Jan 2009, 1720 posts, RR: 0
Reply 30, posted (1 year 5 months 2 weeks 2 days 21 hours ago) and read 4364 times:

Quoting Ozair (Reply 29):

Perhaps not. Instead of a delayed and over budget in service date a fixed price contact would almost certainly have resulted in the contractor merely walking away and the DoD being left without both a plane and their money.

Or the contractor charging so much to cover any potential costs, it becomes a farce.

Quoting Ozair (Reply 29):
Back to the LCS. I agree the program has some serious issues including being under armed.

The base design is underarmed (SeaRAM and a Bofors 57mm gun). But once you add mission modules, you can change the capabilities of the boat dramatically, from ASW, MCM, Special Forces support and anti-shipping. However, the Navy thinks that the Burke's will perform the heavy duty duties such as AAW, and long range anti-shipping, while LCS will operate against smaller threats, such as missile boats or small attack craft.

It's not a frigate by any definition of the meaning; it's more a corvette by any naval classification.


User currently offlineBMI727 From United States of America, joined Feb 2009, 15744 posts, RR: 27
Reply 31, posted (1 year 5 months 2 weeks 2 days 20 hours ago) and read 4345 times:

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 28):
Perhaps we should have seeing how the F-35 is a financial disaster.

If you insisted on fixed price for a program like that it wouldn't happen. No private company would take on that magnitude of risk. The result would be a very watered down product or contractors would simply say no.



Why do Aerospace Engineering students have to turn things in on time?
User currently offlineKC135TopBoom From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 12146 posts, RR: 51
Reply 32, posted (1 year 5 months 2 weeks 2 days 11 hours ago) and read 4295 times:

Quoting Ozair (Reply 29):
How about actually providing the figures instead of a percentage because when you compare the numbers your 75% is completely and utterly wrong.

From the article quoted above on the LCS issues, "its price has doubled since 2005 to $440 million per vessel" http://finance.yahoo.com/news/ships-...irepower--navy-told-154342721.html

From wikipedia (with a reliable source document) for DDG 114-116 $1843 million per vessel while DDG113 was 2200 million.

So instead of an LCS costing 75% of a DDG-51 they actually cost closer to 25%.

The average costs of the DDG-51 class Flight I, II, and IIA ships was $1.2B in 2009 USD. The average price of the Freedom class LCS was $670M in 2005 USD, the Independence class LCS averaged $704M, again in 2005 USD.

DDG-113 is planned to be a Flight III ship, and it is planned to be the first of that version, if it gets built. Yes, that one ship alone is projected to costs $2.2B USD, in 2011 dollars.

It has yet to be decided if DDG-114-116 are going to be Flight IIA ships, or Flight III ships. If they are Flight IIA ships, they will costs about $1.3B each, if they are built as Flight III ships, they will costs about $2B each.

The cost overruns in the LCS program currently place the per ship costs at between $900M and $1B USD, in 2012 dollars.

At that rate we would be better off with a USCG Cutter doing the LCS job, such as the Famous class WMEC, or the newer NSC equipped with at least a 3" gun.


User currently offlinecjg225 From United States of America, joined Feb 2013, 832 posts, RR: 0
Reply 33, posted (1 year 5 months 2 weeks 2 days 6 hours ago) and read 4202 times:

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 30):
It's not a frigate by any definition of the meaning; it's more a corvette by any naval classification.

Unfortunately, it hardly measures up to most of the better corvettes and patrol boats out there.

Because US strategy has long been to bring the fight to the enemy, I think we've neglected this zone of the naval vessel spectrum something fierce. Whereas other nations, like the Soviet Union/Russia, have had to consider their enemy will probably come to their doorstep and thus have developed vessels in the corvette/patrol boat range that are very effective, the US has focused more on projecting power over great distances. Whatever defense of the homeland for the USA could, ostensibly, be accomplished by ships at the frigate level and above, so there was no need to make a ship truly equivalent of the Grisha-class corvette. We toyed with the idea of patrol boats with the Cyclone-class, and they're decent ships, but they are old designs that are far exceeding their expected useful lives. The Pegasus-Class went nowhere and lightly armed.



Restoring Penn State's transportation heritage...
User currently offlineThePointblank From Canada, joined Jan 2009, 1720 posts, RR: 0
Reply 34, posted (1 year 5 months 2 weeks 2 days 5 hours ago) and read 4184 times:

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 32):
the newer NSC equipped with at least a 3" gun.

Actually, the NSC has a 57mm cannon...

And in reality, the 76mm cannon hasn't been very reliable or accurate in USN and USCG service. The mount also has a tendency to come apart when firing at the higher rates of fire for extended periods. The Bofors 57mm gun is considered by the USN and USCG to be considerably more reliable, accurate, and easier to maintain. The Canadian Navy uses the Bofors 57mm cannon on our Halifax-class frigates and this was a design choice.

Quoting cjg225 (Reply 33):
Unfortunately, it hardly measures up to most of the better corvettes and patrol boats out there.

Compared to what LCS is expected to fight (missile and gunboats, small coastal submarines, and Boghammars), it will do the job well. It has has two spots for SH-60's, which will give it some stand-off range capability against more heavier armed targets, such as a missile boat. Anything heavier, and we got Burke's, Tico's and fixed-wing aircraft to deal with them.


User currently offlineOzair From Australia, joined Jan 2005, 849 posts, RR: 1
Reply 35, posted (1 year 5 months 2 weeks 2 days 3 hours ago) and read 4156 times:

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 32):
The average price of the Freedom class LCS was $670M in 2005 USD, the Independence class LCS averaged $704M, again in 2005 USD.

You can't have an average across one vessel. That was the price as listed in 2010 budget documents for the lead ships from both contractors. The first unit cost of every single piece of military equipment is always greater than the average, from warships and jet fighters to radars and radios.

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 32):

The average costs of the DDG-51 class Flight I, II, and IIA ships was $1.2B in 2009 USD.

Not sure how you can arrive at this price since the following, http://www.bga-aeroweb.com/Defense/DDG-51-AEGIS-Destroyer.html says, "The total procurement cost of the DDG 51 program is estimated at $83.54 billion + $3.75 billion in research and development (RDT&E) funds, which means the total estimated program cost is $87.29 billion (numbers are aggregated annual funds spent over the life of the program and no price/inflation adjustment was made). This figure excludes military construction (MILCON) costs in support of the program in the amount of $45 million."

So before we factor in inflation we are looking at a unit cost of $1.4B per vessel without R&D. If we optimistically put that in 2001 dollars, considering 41 of the 62 vessels were delivered before then, we get an average unit cost of $1.82B in 2012 dollars, or $1.7B in 2009 dollars.

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 32):
The cost overruns in the LCS program currently place the per ship costs at between $900M and $1B USD, in 2012 dollars.

And yet the following link, http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/weapons/RL33741.pdf shows that the Navy has requested funding for four vessels at $1.785B, or $445 million each. Just like the DDG-51, the F/A-18E/F and the 50,000 radios the DoD plan to buy when you build things in multiples you save money. It also identifies that in 2012 dollars the total procurement of 55 LCS will be approximately $34B or about $600 million each. A great price when you consider the cost of the initial vessels, funded before 2012, and the fact acquisition will occur out to 2020.

The above FAS link is a great addition to this discussion.


User currently offlineOzair From Australia, joined Jan 2005, 849 posts, RR: 1
Reply 36, posted (1 year 5 months 2 weeks 2 days 2 hours ago) and read 4152 times:

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 34):
The Bofors 57mm gun is considered by the USN and USCG to be considerably more reliable, accurate, and easier to maintain.

Agree, the increased fire rate of the 57 over the 76 is an important consideration. The almost double rounds per minute of the 57mm makes a big difference for what the gun is actually used for.

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 30):
But once you add mission modules, you can change the capabilities of the boat dramatically, from ASW, MCM, Special Forces support and anti-shipping.

I still think from an AAW perspective the vessel is under-armed. Provision should have been made for at least one Mk41 VLS cell which would allow up to 32 ESSM to be carried and give a basic AAW capability as well as provision for updated missiles or systems in the future.


User currently offlineKC135TopBoom From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 12146 posts, RR: 51
Reply 37, posted (1 year 5 months 2 weeks 2 days 1 hour ago) and read 4142 times:

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 34):
Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 32):the newer NSC equipped with at least a 3" gun.
Actually, the NSC has a 57mm cannon...
Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 34):
in reality, the 76mm cannon hasn't been very reliable or accurate in USN and USCG service. The mount also has a tendency to come apart when firing at the higher rates of fire for extended periods.

The 76mm gun is aboard the USCG Famous class WMEC and the USN Perry class FFG.

Quoting Ozair (Reply 35):
Not sure how you can arrive at this price since the following, http://www.bga-aeroweb.com/Defense/DDG-51-AEGIS-Destroyer.html says, "The total procurement cost of the DDG 51 program is estimated at $83.54 billion + $3.75 billion in research and development (RDT&E) funds, which means the total estimated program cost is $87.29 billion (numbers are aggregated annual funds spent over the life of the program and no price/inflation adjustment was made). This figure excludes military construction (MILCON) costs in support of the program in the amount of $45 million."

So before we factor in inflation we are looking at a unit cost of $1.4B per vessel without R&D. If we optimistically put that in 2001 dollars, considering 41 of the 62 vessels were delivered before then, we get an average unit cost of $1.82B in 2012 dollars, or $1.7B in 2009 dollars.

There are (currently) 75 planned DDG-51s.


User currently offlineThePointblank From Canada, joined Jan 2009, 1720 posts, RR: 0
Reply 38, posted (1 year 5 months 2 weeks 2 days 1 hour ago) and read 4140 times:

Quoting Ozair (Reply 36):
I still think from an AAW perspective the vessel is under-armed. Provision should have been made for at least one Mk41 VLS cell which would allow up to 32 ESSM to be carried and give a basic AAW capability as well as provision for updated missiles or systems in the future.

How about the Mk.48 VLS? The problem with the MK.41 is the requirement for deck penetration and extensive piping to vent the hot exhaust. The Mk.48 will only carry one ESSM, but can be mounted anywhere on the ship. Probably 8 sets of 2 will suffice, as in our Halifax class frigates.


User currently offlineMD-90 From United States of America, joined Jan 2000, 8507 posts, RR: 12
Reply 39, posted (1 year 5 months 2 weeks 1 day 8 hours ago) and read 4005 times:

Quoting Ken777 (Reply 7):
First we read that the DDG-1000 needs to be some distance away from danger. Since I can remember clearly seeing the shoreline of Vietnam daily from a DDG a few hundred yards off shore I tend to get irritated at a "Delicate Class" DDG.

Same with the LCS's. It seems that there is no one left in the Navy with close in combat operations and we're seeing the results.

Haven't missiles become far, far more deadly to surface ships since Vietnam?

There are some people who say that even our aircraft carriers are obsolete for attacking anything other than a poverty-stricken third world nation.


User currently offlineThePointblank From Canada, joined Jan 2009, 1720 posts, RR: 0
Reply 40, posted (1 year 5 months 2 weeks 22 hours ago) and read 3943 times:

Quoting MD-90 (Reply 39):
Haven't missiles become far, far more deadly to surface ships since Vietnam?

Yes. We went from the earliest examples, such as the P-15 Termit, which weren't very sophisticated in their combat capabilities to sea-skimming weapons like Exocet, and Harpoon, and now, supersonic weapons, such as the P-270 Moskit. These weapons are extremely dangerous to surface ships and as a result, naval warships have moved further away from the coast because one could mount such a missile on a truck and launch it at a enemy ship; the example of the HMS Glamorgan during the Falklands demonstrates this; the Argentinian military took a Exocet missile launch system off a warship, mounted it on a truck and put together a few more trucks with the supporting electronics, and launched the missile against Glamorgan. The missile blew a 10 ft by 15 ft hole in the hangar deck and a 5 ft by 4 ft hole in the galley area below, where a fire started, and then caused a armed helicopter on the deck to explode as well. Fourteen crew members were killed and more were wounded in the attack.

Another example is what happened to the INS Hanit; she was hit by a shore launched anti-ship missile fired by Hezbollah. The Israeli's then subsequently adjusted their tactics after the attack to move their warships further away from the coast to protect their ships.


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