Saturday, January 17, 2015

LCS PR Ramps Up!

I’ve pointed out that the Navy will engage in a PR blitz to cover the fact that the “improved” LCS is a very minor tweak, indeed.  We’ve seen some of the PR examples and they’re impressive in their unreality.  Well, here’s the latest.

As reported by Breaking Defense website (1), Navy Secretary Ray Mabus claims that the LCS will now be “worthy of the frigate designation” and added this bit of fantasy.

“ ’If you list the attributes of a frigate and then list the attributes of [an improved LCS], we’re actually more capable than a normal frigate is,’ Mabus told reporters after his remarks to the Surface Navy Association conference.”

I’m not even going to bother listing all the ways this vessel falls woefully short of being a “normal frigate”.  This statement has one of three possible interpretations:

  1. He believes his statement in which case he’s an idiot.
  2. He knows his statement is false in which case he’s a liar.
  3. He has no idea whether the statement is true and he’s just repeating what he’s being told in which case he’s simply incompetent.

There it is.  Mabus is either an idiot, a liar, or incompetent. 

Using his naval expertise and analytical mindset, Mabus goes on to identify the main problem with the LCS.

“They don’t look like traditional Navy ships sometimes, and I think that’s one of the issues that traditionalists have …”

Well, I feel foolish.  I thought I didn’t like the ship because it was underarmed, underarmored, structurally weak, too loud, short legged, and suffered from a host of other shortcomings.  Instead, I now realize that all of my negative feelings stemmed from the ship’s appearance.  You know, I think he’s right.  Now that I realize the true source of my negative feelings, I suddenly see that everything that I thought was bad about the ship is actually good.

The PR is really ramping up!

LCS:  “Don’t be about it, talk about it.”

(1) "What’s In A Name? Making The LCS ‘Frigate’ Reality", Sydney J. Freedberg Jr., 16-Jan-2015,


  1. "There’s also the constraint of time, Antonio told reporters. “LCS-1 was commissioned in ’08, and with a 25-year service life, that takes her to 2023,” when she retires — which would be just four years after the upgrade design is finalized in 2019. Littoral Combat Ships come in for major maintenance every 32 to 36 months. So with the earlier ships, said Antonio, “there’s a mathematical possibility that we wouldn’t be able to get everything in.” (It’s also inefficient to invest in upgrading a ship about to retire)."

    Wait a second here, it's 2015, you mean to say that LCS1 is going to be decommissioned in 8 years from now?!? She sure hasn't done a whole lot since 2008 and I don't expect her to do a whole lot more going forward, just cruising around pretending to be a warship? We are still buying 32 early flights that don't have a whole lot fighting capability in them and most of them aren't probably going to be upgraded?!? Why are we buying them then? This sounds exactly like F35 concurrency BS.....

    1. 2008 commission + 25 service life = 2033 retirement, not 2023.

      You can add poor maths to the list.

    2. John, yeah I saw that. I generously assumed it was a typo or innocent misspeak - but maybe not!

  2. As an artilleryman i am partial to guns and generally the bigger the better. But that is also based on months of schooling where all the interesting bits of ballistics and target destruction was pounded into my head and 100 years of experience says a bigger the gun the better. Which leads me to my next point of the Canadians firing the 57mm gun from a stationary ship at a stationary ship and having a horrendous beaten zone. After hundreds of rounds fired the target ship just floated there and they had to call in another frigate with a 76mm gun. The 76mm gun promptly sent the target ship to the bottom. Sure that is just a video but it corresponds with everything i was taught so yeah i tend to believe it.

    Also a 57mm was considered undersized for a 25 ton tank in 1941. Surely we can put a bigger gun on a 3000 ton warship in 2015? I know we used to put multiple 5in guns on 1500 ton warships once upon a time so yeah.

  3. Just when you thought the LCS story couldn't get any worse, it got worse. There is no part of this that can be defended as a reasonable action by intelligent people. Idiot, liar, or incompetent--or probably all three.

  4. From Star Trek the Next Generation - Darmok episode

    "Sokath, his eyes uncovered/opened" - understanding/realization

  5. I think it is the end result of more than 6 years of the effect of the Commander In Chief leading from behind and the notion that you can simply talk your way out of a problem or in redefining the meaning of things. Sooner or later, the chain of command will get the drift. When you have work place violence and man made disasters, what is wrong with LCS becoming Frigates? It is just a word game. That did not prevent re-election. The Admiral will get to keep his job.

    1. Your point is valid that civilian leadership actions and decisions impact the military in a variety of ways. No question. Please be careful, though, to keep the overt politics to a minimum. Thanks!


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