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Say Hello To The Latest In The Navy's Most Godawful Line Of Warships
Nobody wants the Littoral Combat Ship, and yet here it is.
The USS St. Louis was launched and christened on Saturday as the latest Freedom-class installment of its Littoral Combat Ship family, the much-derided "Little Crappy Ship" that's been plagued with so many problems that not a single one is in operational use by the U.S. Navy after 16 years in development.
Envisioned as a "relatively inexpensive surface combatant" with an advanced modular design, the Navy technically had 11 operational LCS hulls at the end of fiscal year 2017, according to the latest Congressional Research Service analysis of the line, with plans to expand the fleet to 32 vessels. But in April, the service announced that it wouldn't deploy any of them this year despite previous plans to deploy several to join the 7th and 5th Fleets in Singapore and Bahrain, respectively.
The reasons why were clear. The Pentagon Operational Test & Evaluation office's review of the LCS fleet published back in January 2018 revealed alarming problems with both Freedom and Independence variants of the line, including: concerning issues with combat system elements like radar, limited anti-ship missile self-defense capabilities, and a distinct lack of redundancies for vital systems necessary to reduce the chance that “a single hit will result in loss of propulsion, combat capability, and the ability to control damage and restore system operation.”
“Neither LCS variant is survivable in high-intensity combat,” according to the report. “Although the ships incorporate capabilities to reduce their susceptibility to attack, testing of analogous capabilities in other ship classes demonstrated that such capabilities have limited effectiveness in high-intensity combat.”
But Congress, like Congress, loves to throw money at shit it doesn't need. Not only is the Nav eyeing the development of the Guided Missile Frigate Replacement Program or FFG(X) to fulfill basically all the strategic roles that the LCS would have as a small surface combatant (having opted back in 2014 to reduce the number of LCS vessels ordered from Lockheed Martin out of concern over the line's performance), but lawmakers decided back in September to foist three more LCS hulls on the Navy while reducing funding for the modules necessary to increase the effectiveness of the current hulls
"Congress, unhappy with the development of the modules falling behind schedule, will cut funding and cause development to fall further behind schedule, according to a source familiar with the details of the impact of the cuts who spoke on background," as Defense News reported at the time. "All this while Congress continues to pump money into building ships without any of the mission packages having achieved what’s known as initial operating capability, meaning the equipment is ready to deploy in some capacity."
On the upside, there was a bit of good news for the LCS this week: the USS Freedom just came back into service after two years of repairs designed to fix a critical engine failure. So there's that, I guess.
In his sanctions announcement, Trump accidentally named the wrong supreme leader of Iran, who has been dead since 1989
Exclusive: Video shows Navy SEAL flying drone over body of ISIS fighter shortly after Eddie Gallagher allegedly stabbed him
Shortly after Navy SEAL Chief Eddie Gallagher allegedly murdered a wounded ISIS prisoner, about half a dozen of his SEAL teammates watched as one SEAL flew a drone around their compound and hovered it just inches over the dead man's body.
It was yet another ethical lapse for the men of SEAL Team 7 Alpha Platoon, many of whom had just taken a group photograph with the deceased victim after their commander had held an impromptu reenlistment ceremony for Gallagher near the body. Although some expressed remorse in courtroom testimony over their participation in the photo, video footage from later that morning showed a number of SEALs acted with little regard for the remains of Gallagher's alleged victim.
The video — which was shown to the jury and courtroom spectators last week in the trial of Gallagher — was recently obtained by Task & Purpose.
MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - Mexico has deployed almost 15,000 soldiers and National Guard in the north of the country to stem the flow of illegal immigration across the border into the United States, the head of the Mexican Army said on Monday.
Mexico has not traditionally used security forces to stop undocumented foreign citizens leaving the country for the United States, and photographs of militarized police catching Central American and Cuban women at the border in recent days have met with criticism.
Mexico is trying to curb a surge of migrants from third countries crossing its territory in order to reach the United States, under the threat of tariffs on its exports by U.S. President Donald Trump, who has made tightening border security a priority.
Packages containing suspected heroin were found in the home of the driver charged with killing seven motorcyclists Friday in the North Country, authorities said Monday.
Massachusetts State Police said the packages were discovered when its Violent Fugitive Apprehension Section and New Hampshire State police arrested Volodymyr Zhukovskyy, 23, at his West Springfield home. The packages will be tested for heroin, they said.
Zhukovskyy faces seven counts of negligent homicide in connection with the North Country crash on Friday evening that killed seven riders associated with Jarhead Motorcycle Club, a club for Marines and select Navy corpsmen.
'It just happened' — the Iraq War’s first living Medal of Honor recipient recalls his harrowing fight against 5 insurgents
On Nov, 10, 2004, Army Staff Sgt. David Bellavia knew that he stood a good chance of dying as he tried to save his squad.
Bellavia survived the intense enemy fire and went on to single-handedly kill five insurgents as he cleared a three-story house in Fallujah during the iconic battle for the city. For his bravery that day, President Trump will present Bellavia with the Medal of Honor on Tuesday, making him the first living Iraq war veteran to receive the award.
In an interview with Task & Purpose, Bellavia recalled that the house where he fought insurgents was dark and filled with putrid water that flowed from broken pipes. The battle itself was an assault on his senses: The stench from the water, the darkness inside the home, and the sounds of footsteps that seemed to envelope him.