Thursday, October 20, 2016

A Word Of Warning

With possibly a single exception, not even the most ardent supporter of the LCS still believes the program accomplished what it set out to do.  In short, it’s a failure.  Beating that dead horse is not the point of this post.  Instead, let’s recall who the LCS’ biggest supporter was and who may be the single exception I referred to.  That person was Bob Work, now Deputy Secretary of Defense.  The man made outrageous claims that the LCS was the greatest warship in the world.  He flatly stated that the Navy got the ship it wanted, with the capabilities it wanted, at the price it wanted.  He demonized critics and cowed supporters.  In short, he was Adm. Rickover if Rickover had been completely wrong.

So, after championing one of the biggest failures of the Navy, Mr. Work has been rewarded with a new position as Deputy Secretary of Defense.  That alone is scary.  Worse, Mr. Work is, apparently, taking charge of the so-called Third Offset strategy which will, he claims, maintain our military edge over a resurgent Russia and China.

Think about this.  The man who championed the biggest failure in recent Navy times is now setting the military’s path for the next few decades?  Is this wise?  Is there any reason to believe that the man’s zealous backing of an epic failure is now going to produce a viable and successful result with an unproven and questionable approach to future warfare?

Still worse is that Mr. Work’s demonstrated demonization of opposition speaks poorly for the possibility of legitimate debate about the course he is attempting to place the military on.  The Third Offset’s dependence on networks, unmanned vehicles, data sharing, etc. are all highly suspect and, at the very least, deserve close scrutiny before we irreversibly commit to them.  Unfortunately, that type of scrutiny and debate is exactly what Mr. Work is famous for discouraging.

It is truly frightening how quickly and completely the military seems to have rolled over and acquiesced to this path.  Meanwhile, Russia, China, and, seemingly, every other country in the world is frantically developing heavy armor, more powerful artillery, stealth aircraft, advanced SAM systems, armored amphibious capabiity, advanced submarines, extensive mine warfare capability, supersonic cruise missiles, intermediate range ballistic missiles, etc.  In short, the rest of the world is rapidly developing the means to blow things up faster and more efficiently while we develop networks, operate green fleets, and factor climate change into our military planning.

Is the man who was so thoroughly wrong about the LCS the man to be setting the military’s future?  I don’t think so.


  1. The LCS is a very successful program from the ship builders view. They made billions of dollars and love Work for covering for them. Now our Navy will be forced to scrap them within a decade and they get billions more for a replacement. Brilliant!

    1. You've touched on the biggest failing of the LCS program and one that has gotten no attention: the lifespan of the ships. The Navy claims a 25 yr life, if I remember correctly but that's ludicrous. I think the combination of lack of utility, the Navy's inherent desire to retire ships early so they can build new ones, and the ship's demonstrated physical weakness will all lead to the ships being retired quite early - probably 10-12 years.

      Good comment!

  2. This article is dead on correct! Bob Work is a total fraud.

  3. """"Third Offset strategy""""

    I wonder if this will be done like the LCS?

    Take an idea, start a R&D program

    For some reason expand the R&D program to four ships

    Then without waiting for results from the R&D program you decide to build up to 55 of these ships in two different designs.

    The still with no good results you suddenly decide to build some as frigates, even though the Navy had sworn that these were not frigates.

    Here is a idea for the Navy and the military as a whole. An R&D program is an experiment, you wait for the results of the experiment before you make further decisions.

    1. That's a very astute and very disturbing thought you raise. It does seem as if the whole Third Offset is being rushed into existence, much like the LCS.

      Good comment.

  4. With allies like him, we might need to worry about the Asian pivot....

  5. Meanwhile the Navy has sold or scrapped the FFG7's that the LCS was supposed to replace.

    1. Old Story with the Navy I'm finding out. Kill the competition.

  6. I was one of those who thought the LCS was a good idea, but it would take a few years to sort out its problems. Totally wrong is the best way I can put it now.

  7. Yes, but on the other hand they do look nice.

    And one of them appeared is the Disney Pixar spectacular “CARS 2” feature film.

    If that isn’t a measure of success then I’m not sure what is ?

    Now a lot of people are going to tell you that movie stardom was never in the specification.

    But that really just shows you how far above and beyond expectation these boats have gone !

    Yes, they arn’t fit for any real Naval purpose.

    BUT who can put a price on a child’s smile ?

    And in that respect the 3.7 billion dollars expended, surly seem well worth it ?

    ( You know I really need to stop posting stuff from down the Pub on a Friday afternoon :S )



  8. I know this is a little of subject but usr the LCS program to show who are good ship captains are. I mean if they can make an LCS work a real destroyer should be no problem

    The opportunity is using the weak LCS to show the strong such as use it to develop some leaders who can over come problems and make the best out of the least of the fleet.

  9. At most, it should have been a couple of units. There seem to have been a lot of programs that have had far fewer buys than expected:

    - The Seawolf-class submarine
    - The Zumwalt-class
    - B2 due to massive cost overruns
    - F22 also due to cost overruns and the ill-advised decision to buy the JSF
    - The LCS has been reduced (and should be cancelled)

    I'd say that the submarines are the best buy, but of course the secretive nature of submarines makes it hard to say if there is something we don't know.


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