The program LCS: cheap and worthless?

The main type of U.S. Navy ships built for action in the near-sea zone, at the present time are the frigates project Oliver Hazard Perry. The lead ship of the series was taken into operation in 1977 and is easy to calculate how much time has passed since that time. Of course, these frigates in the near time to be changed by something new. The South American command, realizing this, in the late 90s launched program from LCS (Littoral Combat Ship — Battleship coastal zone). Initially, it was planned that about 60 vehicles of the LCS will be able to completely change the existing frigates "Oliver Hazard Perry" and even take over some of the obligations of the project trawlers Avenger. The development and construction of new ships is not much different from other similar programs, with the difference that in the competition preparatory projects, it was decided to build a descent two options LCS. One was designed to Lockheed Martin, the other — in General Dynamics. Leading ships of both projects have received the name of LCS-1 and LCS-2, respectively.

The program LCS: expensive and futile?
USS Independence (LCS-2)

The first two ships built by LCS program there were commissioned U.S. Navy in 2008 and 2010 under the names of USS Freedom (LCS-1) and USS Independence (LCS-2). Prior to the commissioning of the first 2-ships in the LCS program there were several configurations, but they are more concerned administrative and economic side. Thus, the Pentagon initially intended to order "Lockheed Martin" and "General Dynamics" still one ship of their projects, but then it was decided to conduct comparative tests and their results, choose the best ship. The company that developed it, would have received a contract for two LCS, the losing party — on one. In the end, the best match was found LCS-1 and, consequently, in the melee, the company Lockheed Martin received a very lucrative contracts. It will be distributed following the construction of the ships of the relevant June 10 s — is not yet clear.

But amid speculation and analysis on the topic "who will build the fifth, second, etc. ships? "there was one very noticeable news, which can add to the history of the programs from the next new LCS sudden turn. The fact that the April 23 report was posted profit organization Project Municipal Supervision (POGO — Project On Government Oversight), from which much can be learned many fascinating things about the program there LCS. First, the report-letter was addressed to those members of the House of Representatives, who are engaged in the defense committee of the latter, and other politicians, and of ordinary people to the data of the letter will, of course, fascinating.

First paragraph, which workers did not accept POGO — the financial side applets LCS. One ship from the "Lockheed Martin" costs budget (project) into the 357 million bucks. The ship is from the "General Dynamics" is worth a little less — 346 million. With all of this is only the estimated number. According to unofficial data, but before the introduction of the ships of the U.S. Navy to any of them had spent about half a billion. Of course, such "joy", according to experts of the Draft Municipal Supervision, the country does not need. More precisely, the ship of the coastal zone is necessary, but not that of price. To solve the financial problems again POGO offers a comparison of projects Lockheed Martin and General Dynamics in order to really choose the best in the future to build new ships only to agree with him. Accordingly, a unique way for the United States so called "dual development" in POGO considered less than the whim of responsible individuals who do not want or can not foresee the economic impact of such a step.

It looks like Project specialists Municipal Supervision really understand what they write. And it's not only in the economy. In the same report-writing is entertaining information regarding the 1 st of the participants in programs from LCS. According to the professionals POGO, they thoroughly explored not only contracts and cost for LCS, and even delved into techno documentation projects LCS-1 and LCS-2, reports on the tests and a lot of other papers. As a result of this "investigation" they came to the disastrous conclusion that the pros are almost no issues which specific variant Littoral Combat Ship has to go to the archive with a "costly and useless." On the development of General Dynamics (LCS-2) at POGO have some questions, but as they say, and military engineers, they can all be resolved in rather short time and small forces. But the situation with the LCS-1 is not currently gives almost no reason to doubt his own hopelessness.

The program LCS: expensive and futile?
USS Freedom (LCS-1)

In 1-x, ship from the "Lockheed Martin" slightly, but more expensive. Naturally, the estimated 11 million to scale naval construction is not that great figure. But if you multiply them by the required 60 ships, it turns out that the fleet on this "small" amount throughout the series will lose the price of almost 2-such as ships. Is noteworthy that the loss of 600 million dollars only on the difference in prices of ships refers to estimated cost: 357 million for LCS-1 and 346 million for LCS-2. And if we take the theorem that rumor, according to which only up to 2010, USS Freedom and USS Independence «eaten" by half a billion, the loss of the entire series are simply indecent. It is unlikely that taxpayers will be happy, especially in light of the fact that the project (!) Fighting properties LCS-1 and LCS-2 is actually no different from each other.

In-2, LCS-1, according to speakers from POGO, even after three and a half years after commissioning can not do its intended function. There are lots of problems with electronic equipment, with weapons, with the power plant, etc. In the end, for the first service of a thousand days (with illumine 2008 to the summer of 2011) USS Freedom «picked up" 640 technical problems disposition. A certain part of them, it must be admitted, was quickly corrected by the crew, but others have claimed more severe in the criteria for repair dock. In other words, once a half-day or two to ship something broke. The most outrageous incident occurred in March 2010. Then the fault of the technology for a few hours is turned off the main power supply system the ship, and only managed to run a spare only after some time. So Makar, within a few hours of one of the most modern ships US NAVY was a drifting on the waves of "trough" that can repel the enemy but just a personal tool of the crew. But it's not just tech problem — is also in some measure a disgrace to the warship. During this same trip, when temporarily disconnected the electrical system, there were several engine failures. Luckily, they had just as deplorable consequences, like the drift, but the maintenance staff eventually h
ad to suffer.

The program LCS: expensive and futile?

In the end, according to experts POGO, LCS-1 in its own present state simply can not reach the estimated navigation features. During last year's summer repairs in the building of this ship was found 17 relatively large cracks. With them were carried out all the necessary work, due to which the damage should not be increasing with in the future. Yet, even in the absence of progression in the size of these cracks is palpable aggravated driving characteristics ship. So, now, according to outsiders professionals, LCS-1 will not be able to accelerate to speeds above 40 knots, without risking it all to get new damage. Go with this there is no disk imaging capabilities of new cracks in the hull and the reasons for it. Typically, these cracks not only decrease the speed. They also "hit" on the Range, although nekordinalno. They form a little swirl in the water increasing resistance of the medium, whereby to merit a certain speed requires more fuel consumption. Both options applets LCS ships have a power plant consisting of diesel and gas turbine engines, because you need to expend fuel cost in accordance with the plan of campaign.

After listing all the nasty facts associated with applets LCS, the report POGO made three more nasty conclusion to be drawn from the situation. The first of them concerns the organization of the case. According to the views of employees of the municipal project supervision, the Pentagon has made a huge mistake by starting a "double development." Contrary to all expectations, such an approach has not led to a significant increase in the technical or fighting properties produced vehicles. In addition, we could not avoid and the "traditional" for the creation of modern technology problems, such as the highest price works or huge time required to complete the applets. Second conclusion follows directly from the first and also for the mistakes of South American military. The essence of it is this: the commissioning of new ships, as well as other military equipment, to the point where it is brought to the brain, not only does not increase the defense potential of the Navy / Army / Air Force, but even in some measure lowers it. Such steps as palpably beating the prestige of the Pentagon and across the United States, along with him. It is easy to think of how to react to the news about the dilemmas of LCS programs from all those people from different countries who do not like the United States — they will be pleased with this news accurately.

The program LCS: expensive and futile?

After graduating with the "merits" the Pentagon, POGO fled to actually programmke LCS. In their opinion, as it follows from the first output, reduce costs and give only program from one project promising the ship, which will focus all efforts. In another U.S. can izderzhat even more money and not get the desired result. At first, my word on this subject has to announce the House of Representatives. Next question of the fate of programs from LCS will be delivered and the Senate. In case both houses of Congress will not be able to decide what to do with the LCS and which ship from 2-post, POGO has just find a time period during which their own choices will have to make workers Pentagon. This scheme has not once been used in the development of modern military technology, because it is completely possible to use at the moment, to determine the fate of the ships of the coastal zone.

The reaction of the Pentagon's report professionals POGO one can only guess. It is unlikely that it will be a net positive, because the LCS program from already spent about 4 billion dollars, which were distributed between Lockheed Martin and General Dynamics about equally. Closing of the 1st of the projects means the loss of 2-billion, a constant background of allegations of spending cuts will have a very bad view and at the same time would be another reason for the annoying jokes aside U.S. military. Still, the Pentagon will have to make a choice. In favor of such developments says the fact that Congress in the near future often give monetary value of the projects rather than the wishes of the military. So both houses of Congress are fully heed the suggestions and POGO close project LCS-1 or claim military without assistance from others to do so. Either way, the future is now applets LCS looks clear enough, but not too far lighter. With a little bit of a great probability we can imagine that the POGO and the Congress are still pushing through spending cuts on it and one of the projects destined to get very nasty label "expensive and useless."

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