The Navy has taken LCS whining to new lows, calling combat test scenarios “unfair”. Before we go any further, let’s just sit back and reminisce about all the wars that have been fair to both sides and in which both sides agreed to make the conditions fair if they inadvertently became unfair. Yeah, it’s a pretty short list, isn’t it? Nobody willingly enters into a fair war. In fact, the entire aim of warfare is to create unfair conditions that offer overwhelming advantages. Okay, let’s return to the point.
The Navy apparently conducted some LCS anti-swarm testing in Aug and Sep of last year and it didn’t go well (1). According to DOT&E’s Michael Gilmore and as reported by Bloomberg Business website, attacking swarm boats penetrated the LCS “keep out” zone in two of three tests. The test conditions were not specified.
“In the exercise, the crew of the Coronado “expended a large quantity” of 57mm and 30mm ammunition “while contending with repeated network communications faults that disrupted” information flowing to gun systems and weapon elevation flaws that occurred more than a dozen times, disrupting firings, he [Gilmore] said.”
Breaking Defense website reports on the Navy whining (2).
“Yes, a Navy official told me, in the test some “enemy” boats got dangerously close to the USS Coronado and inflicted simulated “damage.” But the LCS still repelled the attack — and without its full complement of weapons: The long-range Hellfire missile has yet to be installed.”
““It just seems to me it was an unfair treatment,” the Navy official concluded.”
Note that the "repelled" part occurred after the swarm drones penetrated to lethal range. Given that the LCS is not designed to take a hit and keep fighting, "repelling" the craft after they've sunk the LCS is a bit of a misleading claim for the Navy to make.
So, I guess the takeaway from this is that the LCS will only be used in combat that is fair.
Of course, this raises questions about what happens when the modular LCS is caught without the proper module for the combat at hand – say, when a MCM LCS is attacked by swarm boats. Will the crew radio the Iranians and ask them to wait until the LCS can swap out its module for an ASuW one to make the combat fair?
I recall from my history that the Japanese turned back from attacking
Pearl Harbor because surprise attacks weren’t fair. Oh wait, that didn’t happen.
Professional warriors whining about fairness … This is what our Navy has come to.
(1)Bloomberg Business Website, “New U.S Navy Ship Struggles in Test to Fend Off Attacking Boats”, Anthony Capaccio,
Jan 29, 2016,
(2)Breaking Defense, “LCS Test Vs. Fast Attack Boats ‘Unfair': Missile Missing, Navy Says”, Sydney J. Freedberg Jr.,
Jan 29, 2016,