I’ve actually worked directly with both DMEC (Duke Marine Engineering Consultants) and crews of these ships. They rightfully complain due trying to make a relatively minimally manned ship work in the bureaucratic system of the Navy that requires many more people, and a Squadron (shore side) that doesn’t take the burden off like it should. This system leads to the problems and complaining, the equipment on the ship however is standard.
We are discussing two different topics, reliability and combat effectiveness.
Every case study revealed that the breakdowns of the ship are fully attributed to the crew, not the ship.
Now combat is a very wide term. if you mean mine warfare and running an RMMV into the mine zone controlled from the ship vice sailing an Avenger class MCM through the mine field with me on it, I’ll chose LCS (as would most).
Another “combat” scenario the LCS was designed for would be fighting small FAC/FIAC. Compared to a cyclone class patrol ship or a LCS, again I would chose LCS with the longbow missile, bigger gun and higher top speed, more weapons. This is one hull it was designed to replace. I would argue most would agree as well.
A third “combat” option would be maritime interdiction operations. With two 11m RHIBs, I would chose LCS over mosts other ships for this.
NOW then, I assume your definition of combat is on the lines of a hollywood set and thus comparing LCS to a DDG or a CG. Of course everyone would rather be on one of those for SuW and AAW, but we wouldn’t compare a PC or MCM to one either. I would rather be on an aircraft carrier for SuW and AAW, not some skimpy cruiser…
I really don’t know why I’m defending it. Its just a fast ship with ABS certified equipment. Nothing special, but I don’t believe the breakdowns are the ships fault. Are there better combat effect designs out there that would be more suited for our Navy? Absolutely. I’ve had too many beers tonight.