Friday, September 16, 2016

Seriously? Another One?

Honestly, you can’t make this stuff up.

Yet another LCS has suffered an engineering failure.  The USS Montgomery (LCS-8) suffered a pair of engineering failures three days after being commissioned and while transiting to its home port of San Diego (1).  The ship is now headed to Florida for repairs.

It is worth noting that every LCS that has put to sea for more than a few days has suffered an engineering breakdown and some have suffered multiple breakdowns.

I guess that engineering stand down that the Navy ordered for the LCS program didn’t do much good.


(1)USNI News website, “UPDATED: Littoral Combat Ship USS Montgomery Suffers Engineering Casualty, Fifth LCS Casualty Within Last Year”, Sam LaGrone, 16-Sep-2016,


  1. I found this at USNI while reading the linked article.

    Admiral Phil Davidson, Commander, U.S. Fleet Forces Command, said the "lessons learned" on the LCS's modularity and the Zumwalt's power management systems will guide the design of future surface combatants.

    Who knows? After the bad example the LCS has set, maybe the Navy finally get it to work.

    1. There's a huge difference between lessons learned and correct lessons learned.

      I robbed a bank and got caught and went to jail. There were two possible lessons to be learned from that:

      1. Get a faster getaway car or,
      2. Crime doesn't pay

      I could learn either lesson but one is the correct lesson.

      If you read the linked article, you should have noted that it strongly hints at the wrong lessons being learned. For example, it talks about the wonders of the LCS modularity as the basis for future ship designs.

      The Navy will, without question, learn lessons. The question is will they learn the correct lessons and the answer is looking like an emphatic, NO.

      The Navy seems pathologically unable to learn correct lessons. I can provide an endless list of incorrect lessons learned but, as a reader of this blog, you've already seen so many documented.

    2. There was a reason I put parenthensis around lessons learned.

      The Navy, indeed the entire military, seems to have forgotten Admiral Meyer's philosophy of "build a little, test a little, learn a lot." But, it always come down to are you learning the right lessons.

      The military is keen on concurrency as a way of reducing costs, but given the problems with the LCS, the Ford-class carrier, the F-35, etc., concurrency hasn't worked out so well.

  2. The posted article stated that the LCS and the Burkes use the same turbines. Why do the LCS engines break so much more than the Burkes?

    1. Unlike the Burkes, the LCS also have diesel engines and the propulsion switches between diesel and turbine via a complex (apparently too complex) combining gear.

      The combination of complex combining gear and overworked, undertrained personnel have proven fatal to the LCS.

  3. they should reduce the complexity and stick to gas turbines until they can relearn how to build a good CODAG system.

  4. Einstein said the definition of insanity was doing the same thing over and over but expecting different results.

    What has changed since LCS-1 & 2? Manning Profile? Maintenance? Engineering Plant Design?

    Nope nothing has changed. So SADLY we should not expect any different results.

  5. Does anyone know why USN is publicizing these casualties? I mean, CGs and DDGs are probably more reliable, but they have their share of CASREPs and those don't usually hit the news. Could Navy be building public case to back out of LCS 100%?

    1. No, I think this is just a case of the many "watchdogs" keeping a very close eye on the LCS program. Nobody cares if a Burke is one day overdue making port somewhere but if an LCS is delayed, various groups instantly dig into it and find out the reason.


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