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The current global crop of “conventional” frigates (which I loosely define as a multi-purpose combatant of somewhere in the vicinity of 2,000-4,500 tons), has reached something of a developmental dead end. These ships cannot be improved–or, in the case of foreign models, brought into compliance with U.S. Navy standards and then improved–without a huge investment–An […]


So, last week the Small Surface Combatant Task Force announced a call for ideas on a small future surface combatant, complete with substantial pricing and production information and–if a boat-load of pricing and production data wasn’t enough–operational concepts as to how the ship will fit and fight with the fleet. Goodness. Where does one sign […]


If the Navy is going to spend time thinking about new frigates or pondering “up-gunning” the Littoral Combat Ship (LCS), then America should also be thinking about developing a low-mix, austere DDG-51. Look, if the U.S. Navy is looking for a low-end Destroyer, then why not use the excellent high-end DDG-51 as a starting point? […]


More LCS-1 Troubles: 6-inch Hull Crack, Leak…

by Craig Hooper on March 18, 2011

Bloomberg’s Tony Capaccio discovered something that is not supposed to happen to a new ship–particularly a new ship that has buoyancy issues: During a heavy-weather ocean trial on the USS Freedom in mid-February, he said, sailors discovered a six-inch horizontal hull crack below the waterline that leaked five gallons an hour. Inside the hull the […]


Yesterday I got to chat with the Mobile Press-Register’s indefatigable reporter Dan Murtaugh about Congressman Gene Taylor’s (D-MS) change of heart about the LCS program. Frankly, I am delighted–Congressman Taylor, as an outgoing Congressman and confirmed LCS foe, had no real reason to promote the program. If he had done nothing, and allowed the Navy […]


LCS-1: More reasons to worry about Fincantieri

by Craig Hooper on November 30, 2010

As the PCU Fort Worth, LCS-3, prepares for a Dec 4 launch-date, I am increasingly concerned about Fincantieri’s “Italianate” management of the Marinette Shipyard. I suspect the LCS-1 team underbid. Aside from Fincantieri’s foreign ownership, overall low level of investment in their US yards and the disparity between Fincantieri’s U.S.-based workers and their Italian counterparts, […]


If Congress acts upon the dual-buy or, if not, the Navy just ends up approving a down-select to build LCS-1 Freedom-class boats (perish the thought!), Italian managers will be in charge of a major U.S. naval shipbuilding program. You see, though most cialis buy people know that Marinette Marine is owned by the Italian company […]


Shipyards, Tea Leaves and the LCS: Austal is gonna win

by Craig Hooper on November 19, 2010

As the Navy works to cajole a lame-duck Congress into approving the Navy’s proposal to build 10 variants of each LCS model, it is interesting–and potentially educational–to observe the shipbuilders who have skin in this fight–the recently divorced General Dynamics/Austal team, and the Marinette/Lockheed team. Marinette Marine:  Puttin’ on a show! In Wisconsin, Marinette, after […]


What Work wants, he gets: The lesson of the LCS Unselect

by Craig Hooper on November 12, 2010

The lesson of the LCS “Unselect” is this: What Undersecretary Robert Work wants, Undersecretary Robert Work gets. (A corollary lesson is that Sean Stackley (perhaps atoning for his role as LPD-17 Program Manager from 2001-5) is the guy who actually does Work’s dirty work, but more on that at in a later post..) It’s worth […]


LCS-1 turbine breaks…are turbine removal rails AWOL?

by Craig Hooper on September 23, 2010

Sooo…who remembers, waaay back in February 2009, when a desperate NAVSEA was looking to get 3-5 tons off the LCS-1? Remember what they wanted to take out? I do. From Janes: Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) told Jane’s that officials are considering taking out components “that have become unused on the finished ship”. The proposed […]