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29 April 2015

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confusedponderer

When one compares the LCS to the Cyclones it becomes even funnier:

LCS trimaran: 127,4m length, 2,307 t displacement, 44kn

LCS monohull: 115m length, 3,500 t displacement, 47kn

Cyclone: 55m length, 331 t displacement, Speed 30kn

I.e. the LCS is 7 respectively 10 times bigger than the Cyclones.

If the Cyclones go for 20 million apiece, then you can have ten Cyclones for the price of one LCS, or more - $220 was the estimated price for the trimaran design, the first LCS-2 actually cost over 700 million (being 220% over budget).

Ten Cyclones can be in ten places at the same time, whereas an LCS can only be in a single place at a given time.

Note that under "naval PRESENCE".

And for a fraction of the amount that the first LCS-2 alone was over budget that one could have thrown in a few tenders, perhaps flattopped, to increase the endurance and mobility of forward deployed Cyclones. Something like this perhaps (link below) - SpOps would love it.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/San_Giorgio-class_amphibious_transport_dock

The Navy and Marines would hate it, too small, and no gold plating, and worse than all of that, a rival for funding for the big greys.

Charles I

From what I could tell from the article and some google the Cyclone's production was limited and over, and if reason wins out over pork, a newer version incorporating newer tech and perhaps a few different module payloads.

Which may be a shame as the LCS is here, costing and coming and Lord knows how long getting to Cyclone 2.0 would take, let alone restarting Cyclones themselves, tending in favor of the momentum of the existing LCS concept and program

Charles I

There's nothing like messing around in small boats. . .

BabelFish

CP and Charles, the one thing I will have to explore is sea keeping, Cyclone's vs LCSs. My first guess is that the LCS classes will be much better at it, particularly in rough weather. Please believe me, having crossed the Atlantic more than once, it is important, particularly when deploying some distance from base.

A shallow draft vessel does not normally fare well in rough seas. The LCS craft, by accounts, is relatively stable (as stable as a ship can be given their length, draft and tonnage). We saw minesweepers practically do barrel rolls when staying in formation with us, in bad weather.

confusedponderer

Largely agree about Cyclone 2.0 - but - the second they make it multimission, it will grow in size and cost.

Anyway, a newer version certainly should have waterjets for better maneuverability.

confusedponderer

Babelfish,
seakeeping in rough seas will inevitably be somwewhat limited, but that's not what the boats were made for.

They are boats, not ships, in the classification of the German navy, and designed to operate around coasts, and not oceans. If they are used in waters like the Carribean, the Mediterranean or the Gulf weather will not so much be an issue.

In any event, the Cyclones are not nearly as overarmed as Israeli or Gulfie vessels. They'll probably do better comparably in terms of seakeeping.

BabelFish

CP, "If they are used in waters like the Caribbean, the Mediterranean or the Gulf weather will not so much be an issue."

I do want to say that my ship got the living crap beat out of it in the Med and I think the open Caribbean could give a shallow draft boat a hard time as well. I would much rather be on a LCS. These vessels do have to get to these places from the US. The minesweeper I mentioned had a 3 week retrofit to put it back to rights, after getting to Rota, Spain.

I agree on the Cyclones not being over armed. You bring up an interesting point. When the American frigates of the Constellation/Constitution class first sailed, they would meet British ships on friendly terms in Caribbean ports. The British officers urged the Americans to not overarm the American '44s', despite the urge to cram a gun in every space. Their point was that it would absolutely ruin the seakeeping of the ships.

confusedponderer

"These vessels do have to get to these places from the US. "

That'sd an organisational thing IMO. After all, LCAC can't cross oceans, too. Put the Cyclones on a big dockship when you need to ship them elsewhere.

I recall that in the 1990s a squadron of German S-Boats (pretty much Cyclone sized) made the trip to the Mediterranean from the Baltics (iirc) on their own keel, hugging the coast when needed, and were accocmpanied by tenders. It can be done.

The Cyclones used in the Gulf got there a couple years ago and stayed since. LCS also use crew rotation.

Some of the corvettes the Brits used in WW-II for convoy escort duty were not THAT much larger than the Cyclones. The Flower class was 62 metres, 900 tons.

"The Flowers were nicknamed "the pekingese of the ocean". They had a reputation of having poor sea-handling characteristics, most often rolling in heavy seas, with complete 80-degree rolls (40 degrees each side of the normal upright position) being fairly common; it was said they "would roll on wet grass".[16] Many crewmen suffered severe motion sickness for a few weeks until they acclimatised to shipboard life.[14] Although poor in their sea-handling characteristics, the Flowers were extremely seaworthy; no Allied sailor was ever lost overboard from a Flower during World War II, outside combat."

One can ameliorate some of that today. The French Avisos, which have reportedly excellent seekeeping, are iirc 80 metres and around 900 tons. So maybe the Cyclone is a little small. Well, steel is cheap and the air is for free, as the saying goes. It shouldn't get any larger, lest they want to make a frigate out of it.

If they anlarge it they should add a 57mm gun. Light and more potent than anything the Cyclones have atm. That should even give the ships a respectable air defence capability in a low threat environment if needed. It would also be effective against small boats, light aircraft, helicopter or WIG type targets.

If the US went modular, and could't resist the urge to make the Cyclone 2.0 multi-mission capable, alas, they could do worse than to orient along the lines of the Danish Stanflex class which again copied ideas coming from the German MEKO concept.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flyvefisken-class_patrol_vessel
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/StanFlex

BabelFish

CP, yes on the transport. I got to ride around on the USS Tucumcari, in the Med, and it had been shipped over from the US.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USS_Tucumcari_(PGH-2)

One of the seriously considered candidates to be the next US frigate were European designs, including the Spanish F-100.

http://news.usni.org/2014/03/18/navy-kicks-lcs-follow-study

With continuing budget pinches, it will be interesting to see how the HASC (House Armed Services Committee) handles the small boat question. They have a powerful former Navy contingent and appear ready to tell the Admirals what kind of Navy they are going to get.

And, I have a different opinion on the Cyclones. Very effective in a small section of responsibility. However, they simply lack the flexibility for additional missions and deployments. So, you need them in Southeast Asia? Well, let's get a big US dock-ship or rent the Blue Marlin or some other ship transport to get them there. And, how long will that take? They are superb for their current use but, again, require substantial support in a shrinking Navy.

confusedponderer

What about that: Get 24 cyclone 2.0 and have 6 at the Gulf, 6 in the Phillipines, 6 in the med,. Have them permanently forward deployed, then you have them, right where you need them. Have six more in a Carribean squadron for training.

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