Chuck Hagel could have killed the LCS today but missed the shot!

MY GOD! When will sane men awaken to realize these ships are nothing but shit in an aluminum can?

[B]Navy budget stresses new ships, but LCS numbers in doubt[/B]

FEBRUARY 25, 2014 — “Under the President’s budget plan, the Navy will launch an aggressive and ambitious effort to reduce acquisitions costs and maximize resources available to buy and build new ships,” Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel said at a Pentagon press briefing yesterday in which he presented highlights of the defense budget for 2015 that the Obama Administration will present to Congress next week.

He also expressed concerns about the LCS program, including whether it has the independent protection and firepower to operate and survive against a more advanced military adversary and emerging new technologies and said no new LCS contract negotiations beyond 32 ships will go forward. Secretary Hagel says he has directed the Navy to submit alternative proposals to procure a “small surface combatant, generally consistent with the capabilities of a frigate.”

Secretary Hagel spelled out the fact the budget recommendations are being made in the context of severe spending restraints. He noted that, although this year’s Bipartisan Budget Act,gives DoD much-needed budget certainty for the next fiscal year, defense spending remains significantly below what the President requested in his FY 2014 budget request and five year budget plan.

He said that the spending levels proposed under the President’s budget plan would also enable the Navy to maintain 11 carrier strike groups.

“However,” he said, "we will have to make a final decision on the future of the George Washington aircraft carrier in the 2016 budget submission. If sequestration spending levels remain in place in Fiscal Year 2016, she would need to be retired before her scheduled nuclear refueling and overhaul. That would leave the Navy with 10 carrier strike groups. But keeping the George Washington in the fleet would cost $6 billion – so we would have no other choice than to retire her should sequestration-level cuts be re-imposed. At the President’s budget level, we would pay for the overhaul and maintain 11 carriers.

"In order to help keep its ship inventory ready and modern under the President’s plan, half of the Navy’s cruiser fleet – or eleven ships – will be ‘laid up’ and placed in reduced operating status while they are modernized, and eventually returned to service with greater capability and a longer lifespan. This approach enables us over the long-term to sustain and modernize our fleet of cruisers, which are the most capable ships for controlling the air defense of a carrier strike group.

"Overall, the Navy’s fleet will be significantly modernized under our plan, which continues buying two destroyers and two attack submarines per year, as well as one additional Afloat Staging Base. We have preserved the fleet’s modernization programs and provided for increases in ship inventory over the next five years.

"Regarding the Navy’s Littoral Combat Ship, I am concerned that the Navy is relying too heavily on the LCS to achieve its long-term goals for ship numbers. Therefore, no new contract negotiations beyond 32 ships will go forward. With this decision, the LCS line will continue beyond our five-year budget plan with no interruptions.

"The LCS was designed to perform certain missions – such as mine sweeping and anti-submarine warfare – in a relatively permissive environment. But we need to closely examine whether the LCS has the independent protection and firepower to operate and survive against a more advanced military adversary and emerging new technologies, especially in the Asia Pacific. If we were to build out the LCS program to 52 ships, as previously planned, it would represent one-sixth of our future 300-ship Navy. Given continued fiscal restraints, we must direct future shipbuilding resources toward platforms that can operate in every region and along the full spectrum of conflict.

"Additionally, at my direction, the Navy will submit alternative proposals to procure a capable and lethal small surface combatant, generally consistent with the capabilities of a frigate. I’ve directed the Navy to consider a completely new design, existing ship designs, and a modified LCS. These proposals are due to me later this year in time to inform next year’s budget submission.

“If sequestration spending levels return in 2016 and beyond, we will be forced into much tougher decisions on the Navy surface fleet. Six additional ships would have to be laid up, and we would have to slow the rate at which we buy destroyers. The net result of sequestration-level cuts would be ten fewer large surface combatant ships in the Navy’s operational inventory by 2023. Under sequestration spending levels, the Navy would also halt procurement of the carrier variant of the Joint Strike Fighter for two years.”

I think the plan to pull out the 11 cruisers and modernize them in the yard instead of operating them is one of the best ideas in this little battle they have going on.

with so much indication that LCS’s are not going to prove a viable design why is the Pentagon sticking with 32 ships? Cut it to 12 or 16 and pull the plug on the program.

[B]Quest For More Lethal U.S. Warship Could Raise Cost

February 25, 2014 By Andrea Shalal © Reuters 2014.

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel’s decision to stop building the current class of coastal warships after 32 vessels and focus on ships with more firepower and protection will result in higher costs, U.S. defense officials said on Monday.

Hagel announced the decision during a preview of the Pentagon’s fiscal 2015 budget proposal, saying that growing threats in the Asia-Pacific region in particular meant the Navy needed to develop new small surface ships that could operate “in every region and along the full spectrum of conflict.”

Hagel said that given the new threats, he had “considerable reservations” about building all 52 coastal warships as planned, which would account for one-sixth of the future 300-ship Navy.

“I recognize the importance of presence, which is tied to the number of ships. But I also believe that capability and power projection is the foundation of our Navy’s effectiveness,” he said in a memo to top Navy leaders.

Hagel told Navy Secretary Ray Mabus and Chief of Naval Operations Admiral Jonathan Greenert to study alternative proposals for a new “capable and lethal small surface combatant, generally consistent with the capabilities of a frigate” in time to inform the fiscal 2016 budget negotiations.

The options should include a completely new design; existing ship designs, including the current coastal Littoral Combat Ships (LCS); and a modified LCS ship; factoring in cost, mission and weapons requirements, sensors and required delivery date, Hagel said in a memo, a copy of which was obtained by Reuters.

Lockheed Martin Corp and Australia’s Austal Ltd are building two different models of the Littoral Combat Ship, which were designed with modular, interchangeable equipment packages that can be swapped out to hunt for mines, fight submarines, or engage in surface warfare.

The first versions of the ships have run into a variety of technical issues during initial deployments and testing, but Navy officials say they are generally pleased with the overall performance of the ships.

The two companies are each under contract to build 10 of the ships, in addition to four others already built, for a total of 24 ships. Hagel said he wanted to buy an additional eight LCS ships before halting the program, but did not explain how those ships were to be divided between the two companies.

Bryan Clark, a former aide to Greenert and senior fellow at the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments, said the Navy was likely to award each of the companies a contract for four more ships, which would keep costs low and maintain the industrial base until a new program could get started.

If the Navy opted to use a modified LCS as the follow-on ship, Hagel said, he expected any contracts beyond the current 24 ships to adopt those changes as soon as possible.

He also asked Navy officials to assess the performance of the current ships, examining a range of factors including operating costs, survivability, lethality and growth potential. He said he could opt to modify the program if those assessments prove unsatisfactory, but gave no further details.

Clark said it would cost about $600 million in today’s dollars to build a Perry-class frigate, compared to around $500 million for one of the current LCS ships combined with one or two mission packages, which are priced separately. He said the first ship in the class would likely cost around $100 million more, given the non-recurring cost of design work.

“It’s clear that a new ship program will cost more,” agreed one defense official who was not authorized to speak publicly, adding that the extent of the additional cost would depend on the Navy’s review of possible alternatives.

The comment came from one of four defense official who confirmed Pentagon’s new approach would result in higher costs in coming years.

Clark said Hagel’s approach would help the Navy achieve its goals for the mine-hunting and anti-submarine warfare missions, while bridging to a new more lethal and survivable ship.

Defense officials said Hagel’s change in direction for the small surface warships was not that different from work on the current generation of destroyers, which also evolved over time, and the Navy was already undertaking testing and modifications.

“This is exactly what we did with the destroyers,” said one official, who was not authorized to speak publicly. “It was clear from the start that the 32nd LCS ship would be different from the first one.”

while I loathe the idea of having to spend more that the $350M the Navee is spending on each LCS, I would grudgingly support spending $450M on a real ship that the useless aluminum cans they are buying now. Oh, but how Austal and Lockheed Martin are going to howl!

Information Dissemination has had a couple of post about this

Best quote by Hagel: “Additionally, at my direction, the Navy will submit alternative proposals to procure a capable and lethal small surface combatant, generally consistent with the capabilities of a frigate. I’ve directed the Navy to consider a completely new design, existing ship designs, and a modified LCS.” We already have the blueprints, including upgrades, of the Perry class frigate. They can do reasonably shallow water operations and certainly blue water ops without falling apart. As far as I can see, the LCS is about as big a flop as the PHMs, and we only built 6 of those. It sucked working around them, as they had to be refueled daily and they couldn’t use a tanker.

From KCs link: ‘But the Navy put their lemon out there, tried to make lemonade, and so far it looks more like dog urine.’ That’s funny right there, I don’t care who you are.

why on earth would Hagel endorse more of these already “FAIL” vessels but more Perry class frigates is not the answer either. God knows that all the other nations of the world with navies have between them designed a good vessel to replace the stoopid LCS’s. Look at what the other countries are building to find the answer to the question

From KCs link: ‘But the Navy put their lemon out there, tried to make lemonade, and so far it looks more like dog urine.’ That’s funny right there, I don’t care who you are.

indeed, that is very funny and spot on accurate as well!

this was from Tim Colton on the subject

I[B]t’s Going to Be a Smaller Navy[/B]

It’s been obvious for ages that our armed services were going to have to get smaller, what with the Cold War being over and most of the services’ missions being focused more on smaller-scale challenges. But none of the services seem to be capable of making rational plans involving affordable weapons. The Navy may or may not be the worst offender, but its ability to burn up huge quantities of the taxpayers’ money designing and building ridiculously gold-plated boats has certainly been impressive. Is it not astonishing that we’ve got to the point that the Secretary of Defense has to tell them what they need to do? All three service secretaries should have resigned or been fired.

Now, as far as the shipbuilding sector is concerned, where do we go from here? First, the Congress needs to back DoD on the planned reductions - 11 cruisers, 3 amphibs and probably one carrier - and on the planned shift from the LCS to a new class of some kind of corvette or OPV - which needs, of course, to be a standard, off-the-shelf design. Second, everyone needs to get on board with fully-funded multi-year procurements for every program. Third, the Navy needs to give serious consideration to single-sourcing: carriers at NNS, subs at EB, DDGs at BIW, amphibs at Ingalls and auxiliaries at NASSCO. The absence of competition will be seen as a problem, of course, but this can be handled (a) by restructuring the form of contract to provide real incentives for cutting costs and delivering early, and (b) by managing the programs with zero changes - if changes must be made, they can do them post-delivery.

None of this will happen, of course. The Congress and the Navy will continue to stumble along from one unstructured decision to the next, [B][U]in that ongoing demonstration of incompetence which we have been living with now for 25 years[/U][/B]. Depressing. February 25, 2014.

DAMN…how I admire this man!

YUP! Agree 100% We need a good old fashioned BRAC as well

[QUOTE=c.captain;131613]MY GOD! When will sane men awaken to realize these ships are nothing but shit in an aluminum can?[/QUOTE]

there is still hope that the idiotic LCS program will wither and die on the vine…one can only hope and pray!

[B]Navy Cuts 2015 LCS Plan to Three Ships[/B]

Feb. 28 (Bloomberg) — The U.S. Navy will request $2.1 billion to continue developing the Littoral Combat Ship and buy three of the vessels in fiscal 2015, one fewer than previously planned, according to defense officials.

No decision has been made on which of the two companies building different versions — Lockheed Martin Corp. and Austal Ltd. — will see one of its ships delayed by a year, according to one of the officials, who asked not to be identified before the Pentagon budget for the year beginning Oct. 1 is sent to Congress on March 4.

The reduced pace of ship purchases underscores the budget constraints facing the Defense Department and may reflect what Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel this week called his “considerable reservations” about the Littoral Combat Ship, a lightly armed vessel designed for missions in shallow coastal waters.

The ship is intended to operate in a “relatively permissive environment,” and the Pentagon must “closely examine” whether the vessel “has the protection and firepower to survive against a more advanced military adversary and emerging new technologies, especially in the Asia-Pacific,” Hagel said.

The $2.1 billion for the Littoral Combat Ship is part of the Defense Department’s weapons-buying request for fiscal 2015 of about $91 billion, or $15.2 billion less than previously projected. The request also includes $64 billion for research and development, or $8.8 billion less than forecast, according to internal budget figures.

Carrier Funding

The Navy’s request also will include $2.1 billion for a new class of aircraft carriers, funding research and procurement for the Gerald R. Ford and John F. Kennedy vessels, an increase from $1.6 billion this year and $781.7 million in fiscal 2013, according to Navy budget figures. Carriers are built and refurbished by Huntington Ingalls Industries Inc. based in Newport News, Virginia.

In presenting his budget outline this week, Hagel said current plans foresee the Navy keeping 11 aircraft carrier groups. That may decline to 10 groups because plans to refuel and overhaul the aging George Washington will have to be canceled unless automatic budget cuts, known as sequestration, are eased for future years, he said.

On the Littoral Combat ship from Bethesda, Maryland-based Lockheed and Henderson, Australia-based Austal, Hagel barred planning for any more than 32 of the vessels, 20 fewer than the Navy’s $34 billion program goal.

Funding by Year

He instructed Navy Secretary Ray Mabus to review the ship’s performance and to prepare alternative proposals for a small combatant vessel “generally consistent with the capabilities of a frigate.” Hagel set out options including a completely new ship design, existing vessels including the Littoral Combat Ship or a modified version of it.

The Navy’s budget request through 2019 will call for 14 Littoral Combat Ships — three each in fiscal years 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018, with two in 2019.

This would bring the total of vessels to 34, or two more than the cap set by Hagel. The extra two ships in fiscal 2019 could be the first of a new small combatant ship or two of a modified, better armed Littoral Ship, said one of the officials.

While a congressional budget agreement in December eased defense spending limits for fiscal 2015, the Pentagon’s plan for the four years after that would exceed sequestration limits by $115 billion, according to Hagel.

It calls for defense spending, not including war costs, of $535 billion in fiscal 2016, $35 billion over the limit; $544 billion in 2017, $31 billion over the cap; $551 billion in 2018, $27 billion over the cap; and $559 billion in 2019, or $22 billion over the cap, according to one of the defense officials.

but $2.1B for only three ships! What the FUCK? Are these going to be built from Platinum now? CRIMINAL I SAY!