The Navy is exploring certain ways to speed up the process of building new ships, but it’s going to have to extend the lives of ships it currently has to reach a fleet of 355 ships anytime soon.
The secretive Pentagon organization that’s in charge of turning existing weapons systems into new warfighting concepts says it has a perfect track record so far. The military services have accepted all six of the technologies the Strategic Capabilities Office has offered up.
Retired Navy Cmdr. Jim Feldkamp doesn’t think the Navy is thinking enough outside the box when it comes to equipping its new Littoral Combat Ship, designed to be extremely flexible in the missions it can perform, for some of those roles.
It may be having problems getting built and perfected, but the Littoral Combat Ship is going to be an important part of the Navy’s fleet. Since that fleet is about half the size it was during the Cold War, each ship needs to have solid punching power. That’s what retired Navy Cmdr. Jim Feldkamp, now an adjunct professor at George Mason University, tells Federal Drive with Tom Temin.
Gen. Joseph Dunford, the new chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. says he plans to do his part to respond to congressional criticism over ballooning bureaucracies at the Pentagon.
The LCS variants all float upright and go from Point A to Point B. But how dangerous are they to the enemy? And protective of their crews?
The Navy believes it finally has the major structural problems of the Littoral Combat Ship behind it. The program executive officer for LCS Mission Modules — Captain Casey Moton — says the program is making strides. Retired US Navy Captain Jerry Hendrix is senior fellow and director of the Defense Strategies and Assessments Program at the Center for a New American Security. He tells In Depth with Francis Rose where the program stands and what the obstacles may be.
The Littoral Combat Ship U.S.S. Fort Worth is in the Java Sea, helping with the effort to recover the remains of the Air Asia flight. The ship’s work in that effort is generating a discussion about the future of the LCS program. Sydney Freedberg in Breaking Defense writes the mission “shows why the Navy needs something like LCS at all.” Retired U.S. Navy Capt. Jerry Hendrix is senior fellow and director of the Defense Strategies and Assessments Program for the Center for a New American Security. On In Depth with Francis Rose, he explained if he thinks the LCS program has turned the corner and is headed toward respectability in Congress.
The Navy knows three things about its plan to build a stronger version of the Littoral Combat Ship. The first is it has the green light from Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel. The second is who’s going to build it. And the third is who’s going to build it. Bryan Clark is senior fellow for the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments. He’s former Special Assistant to the Chief of Naval Operations and Director of his Commander’s Action Group. On In Depth with Francis Rose, he explained the Navy’s plan to buy two different versions of the small surface combatant ship from two different companies.
The Littoral Combat Ship program is in turmoil as Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel sets up a task force to look at alternatives to the LCS. That task force’s recommendations could include a modified LCS system, an alternative system or continuing with the LCS as-is. Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen, chairman of the House Appropriations Defense Subcommittee, heard from leaders across the Navy and Marine Corps. In our Congressional Spotlight, he explains his concerns about the LCS.