Thursday, January 15, 2015

LCS PR Campaign Begins

Once the Navy opted to pass on any significant improvement in the LCS, it was obvious that they would embark on a significant public relations (PR) campaign.  You know, if you can’t make it better, make it sound better.  Well, here’s a bit of the initial campaign as reported by USNI website (1).

“Rear Adm. Peter Fanta said the Navy had the option of building, ‘four to six exquisite ships’ with all the advances in technology possible, while knowing such a program ‘will take the next 15 to 20 years’ to complete.

‘Or I can build 20 modified LCSs in less than half the time,’ a plan the Navy is following in its small surface combatant program. He said those ships would be more survivable in air and surface fights and not only recognize a submarine operating nearby but know when a torpedo is heading her way than the current LCS. The ship also would be better armed for offensive operations and capable of operating in small surface groups.

The idea is to make sure an ‘enemy has to worry about me coming to get him,’ Fanta said at a session on the opening day of the Surface Navy Association’s 2015 symposium.”

So, Adm. Fanta says that the Navy knows that building “exquisite” ships with “all the advances in technology possible” would be a silly thing to do?  Perhaps he’s unfamiliar with the LCS program which attempted to jam all the possible remote, unmanned, network advances in technology into one ship?

Adm. Fanta also believes that the Navy could build 20 LCSs in 7-10 years.  Again, perhaps he’s unfamiliar with the timeline of LCS production?  June of this year will mark the 10 year anniversary of the start of LCS construction and there are 4 ships in commission, currently.  Despite this, he believes the Navy can build 20 LCSs in that same period?  I get his point and there’s nothing wrong with a bit of hyperbole but at least check your facts, Admiral.

Moving on …

Fanta describes the modified LCS as more survivable in combat and better armed for offensive operations.  Well, I guess that’s technically true but the improvement is miniscule and was a severe disappointment to all observers.

Finally, he states that the “enemy has to worry about me coming to get him”.  Really??  I’m pretty sure no enemy commander is staying up at night worrying about the LCS!

People, this is just the beginning of the PR blitz.  As the Navy would apparently say,

“Don’t be about it, talk about it!”

(1) "SNA: Surface Leaders Make the Case for the Modified Littoral Combat Ship", John Grady, 13-Jan-2015,


  1. According to the Navy's SCN budget justification docs, we have fourteen LCS's on the books for construction between 2015 and 2019. If we continue to build at that rate, it seems perfectly reasonable to expect at least twenty will be built by 2025.

    1. The specific reference in the article was the claim to be able to build (meaning complete - not planned or on the books or contracted or under construction) 20 ships in 7.5 - 10 years. The real world comparison is that we've built 4 commissioned ships in 10 years.

    2. We should easily complete 20 ships in the next 7-10 years. We have been awarding contracts for 4 per year since 2012. It has dropped down to 3 now, but those ships already in the pipeline should be finishing in the next few years.

  2. If I can keep my job, I want some of what Admiral Fanta is smoking!



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