The Littoral Combat Ship will be no more after a shortened order of just 32 ships. Here’s why:
The LCS can focus only on a single threat at a time, even though it might have to fight surface enemies, submarines or mines at the same time. This leaves the LCS highly vulnerable to whichever two threats it isn’t specifically focused on. For example, without the “surface warfare package,” LCS ships are “lightly armed for ships of this size and possess no significant offensive capability,” and when outfitted to combat surface threats, LCS ships “have no systems designed to detect torpedo attacks or mines,” according to the report. Regardless of how the LCS is outfitted, then, it will be highly vulnerable to attack by at least two different threats.
It seemed on the surface, so to speak, smart and budget-concious to have one ship that could perform three roles. Each role had a “package” which could be rapidly inserted in each vessel depending on the mission. The problem is, you require perfect intelligence about what the other guy plans to do and how he plans to do it.
Plus, as discussed before, our procurement system is broken.