The LCS program has many problems. One of the major ones is that there are no combat-useful modules available despite years of development effort. Without a module, the LCS is just a large patrol boat.
Here’s a table showing the commissioned LCS vessels and the number of years that they have, thus far, served without a module. Recalling that the target service life span of the LCS is 25 years and noting that almost no Navy vessel has made it to their full life span in recent decades, we’re seeing LCS’s that are expending significant portions of their service lives without any useful capability whatsoever.
Ship Commissioned Years Without a Module
LCS-1 2008 9
LCS-2 2010 7
LCS-3 2012 5
LCS-4 2014 3
LCS-5 2015 2
LCS-6 2015 2
LCS-7 2016 1
LCS-8 2016 1
LCS-10 2017 0
The troubling aspect to this is that there is no readily discernible end to the module development in sight. The Navy claims that each module is just a few years from operation but they’ve been claiming that for the last decade.
This is the equivalent of a battleship being built, commissioned, and serving for years without its main battery.
If a war starts tonight, what can the commissioned LCS’s contribute? Nothing.
That’s what 9 of our commissioned warships bring to the combat table. Nothing.