Happy Birthday to Jules Smith

Jules and daughter, Ellie.

And her two wolves (Lucifer/Tex and Halo)


Prepare to be Shocked

WASHINGTON — As the U.S. Navy’s littoral combat ship program battles reliability problems, it is also wrestling another big problem: operating costs.

Everyone foresaw this, and there was a lot of talk of the elephant in the room — and one can only wonder if somebody took a pay-off that blossomed when they retired.

The original plan was to use a minimal crewing model — where as few as 32 sailors and eight officers manned the ship. The maintenance burden fell to contractors. You know where that headed. And while I’m on a rant, even if the LCS got into a fight, thirty-two sailors are not enough to handle damage control even if they abandoned their battle stations.

The answer? Put sailors back in charge of more maintenance, which means the Navy might need to add even more sailors to the crew — but there are no berthing spaces for them so they will have to hot bunk. (You sleep in other people’s stink)

Today, a littoral combat ship costs about $70 million annually to operate, according to a calculation of budget data obtained by Defense News. In comparison, the cost of operating an Arleigh Burke-class destroyer runs around $81 million.

Armament Comparison:

Arleigh Burke Class DDG


Independence Class LCS

The LCS is still a ship without a mission. It’s a waste of time and money. Time to send them to the bone yard and just admit that it was a bad idea.





  1. Try as I might, I just can’t wrap my head around a DD having only one “main” gun. Possibly too many photos of Fletcher class ships with two turrets forward and two more aft. Apparently there is much about modern naval warfare that I do not understand.

    • The Fletcher’s had a fifth 5″ 38 cal turret facing forward amidships… and yes, I take your point completely. The rapid fire guns on the DDG’s or the smaller caliber rapid fire guns on the LCS put out a lot of firepower. The main battery on the LCS may be its helicopter. On the DDG, it’s 90 missiles.

      • Ooopsie! I missed one. Oh well. Anyway, the battle off Samar comes to mind. Those little ships had lots of guns and lots of ammo and they used them, efficiently and aggressively. No snowflakes in that bunch.

        • And there were only two DD’s at Samar. The others were DDE’s!

          After Nagumo ordered “My Course North” to his fleet., one of the USN sailors was heard to yell “Damnit boys, they’re getting away!”….

    • I have thought the same from the 1st time I saw them. There are people that need be be in jail for the absolute failure of the LCS line.

  2. I cannnot understand why a single 57mm turret is considered sufficient armament for a major surface combatant. 76mm is deadly against surface targets, effective against aircraft and adequate for some targets onshore. This is before you throw guided rounds into the mix, whereupon the 76mm mount, at 120/125 rpm, becomes very useful against any target in range as long as the ammo lasts, up to and including guided missiles (or so the Italian Navy swears). Don’t get me started on the effectiveness or range of modern 5″ guided ammo, that gets scary fast. 57mm? Not much there to add save faster RoF, less range, and less powerful ammo.

    • There were a lot of people who made a lot of money when they retired because of LCS, and the cash still flows.

    • Part of DoD is interested strongly in making the US military ineffective. Underarming ships is a little step on that road.


  3. Hippo birdie to Jules! And yes LCS was/is a POS. You and I did discuss that in San Diego, if I remember correctly. Sadly, the Indonesian sub is now considered Sub Sunk. Pieces found on the surface, an oil slick, and out of air.

    • The Indonesian Submarine went to Davey Jones’ Locker with all hands. No buoy, nothing but evidence of compartments collapsed at depth. You can’t lock out of a submarine that deep even if you’re in the compartment with an escape trunk.

  4. I read yesterday that maybe the chicoms were testing a new torpedo , and the poor performance / maintenance on these subs , gave them plausible deniability

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