One of the crowning achievements of the LCS was supposed to have been a very small, bordering on non-existent, crew. I believe the original crew was to have been three sailors, a parrot, and a dog that was cross-trained as a cat. That quickly became a core crew of 40 with an add-on of 20-30 for the module specialists and aviation for a total of 60-70. The concept was roundly mocked as everyone, including the dog/cat, could see that was a ridiculous and unworkable crew size.
As predicted by everyone but the Navy, the LCS crew size has been inching steadily up. The latest report puts the crew size at 94.
… LCS deploy with a total of 94 sailors – 70 for the core crew, including the MCM force, and an additional 24 that make up the aviation detachment for the MH-60 aboard … (1)
Remember, that each ship has two crews so the actual crew size for each ship is 188 (I assume the aviation det crew swaps out when the core crew does). Just out of curiosity, does anyone recall the crew size of the Perry class frigates that the LCS was supposed to replace and reap huge savings by having a smaller crew? That’s right … the Perrys had a crew of around 176. The LCS now has a larger crew than the Perrys!
|Original LCS Crew|
But wait, we’re not done yet!
The LCS still requires an extensive shore-side maintenance support group so that adds an unknown but, according to various DOT&E reports, large shore maintenance group. When those shore maintenance people are factored in, the average LCS crew size is probably around 200+.
Those Perrys are looking better and better now, aren’t they?
(1)USNI News website, “Six Littoral Combat Ships to Deploy by Year’s End as Navy Continues to Refine Operations”, Sam LaGrone, 28-Jun-2021,