Monday, May 14, 2012

LCS - Bigger Crew Coming?

Most of us realized, after about 30 seconds of thought, that the target crew size of the LCS (about 40 for the core crew) was too small to operate, maintain, and fight a ship that size.  Because personnel costs are one of the major sources of life cycle costs, the Navy has tried everything possible to keep to the small crew size.  However, Michael Fabey of Aviation Week (article) reports,

"... according to a source intimately familiar with shipboard operations, the Navy has plans to increase the sailor count by 50% to 60 personnel this summer, and is studying the impact of further increasing the crew size to 150, close to the crew size on a a frigate, both to allow for the maintenance now being deferred, and to make sure the vessel can conduct combat operations."
So, the Navy is finally coming around and seeing what everyone else has known since the beginning.  Unfortunately, given the non-existent weight margins and constrained internal volume, installation of extra berthing, mess, laundry, showers, heads, food storage, etc. to support the additional crew will prove challenging, to say the least.

Hmmm .......  This ship is sounding more and more like a frigate - except for the total lack of weapons and sensors, of course!

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