A tale of two successful…ships, sorta

| November 20, 2023

JS<em> Noshiro</em>'s forward Mark 45 127mm naval gun system. <em>Japan Ministry of Defense</em>

Hate to lead off an article with the ill-fated Littoral Combat Ships, the Navy’s floating equivalent to the Army’s old Sergeant York  system which crashed and burned before it ever got rolling… (I carefully didn’t say anything about the F-35 because that overpriced pig at least flies like it is supposed to.)  But yes, let’s use them as a comparison… say, to the Japanese Mogami class frigate.

The Mogami is a bit larger than either LCS model, up to 5500 tons versus 3450. A better direct comparison might be the Asigiri class, but actually we’re looking at the launch process, not the tonnage –  the LCS was started in 2002 and its first completed ship delivered in 2008. The Mogami-class started orders in 2018, and to date has already delivered 4 ships, the most recent of which went down the ways on November 18. The prime difference, of course, is that the LCS has been widely accepted as a disaster, with ships breaking apart, and in come cases retired before adequate service. A total of 12 Mogami are to be delivered by 2027.

Propulsion-wise, ships of the Mogami class are powered by a single Rolls-Royce MT30 gas turbine and two MAN Diesel V28/33DD STC engines. The ships can achieve high speeds in excess of 30 knots (some 34.5 miles per hour).

Each frigate is armed with BAE Systems’ Mark 45 5-inch (127mm) naval gun system, alongside two 12.7mm remote weapon systems by Japan Steel Works. They also boast Lockheed Martin’s 16-cell Mk 41 vertical launching system for launching MHI’s Type 03 Chu-SAM surface-to-air missiles. The vessels can fire eight ship-launched variants of MHI’s Type 12 anti-ship missile. Raytheon’s SeaRAM system provides a close-in last line of defense against incoming missiles and even small boats. Sea mines, exactly which variants are unclear, along with mine-laying equipment can be deployed for mine warfare work.

With regards to sensors and radars, the frigates boast Mitsubishi Electric’s OPY-2 X-band multi-purpose active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar and Mitsubishi Electric’s OAX-3 electro-optical/infrared (EO/IR) sensors. Owing to their multi-mission purpose, the frigates feature the NEC OQQ-25 variable depth sonar (VDS)/towed array sonar system (TASS) for anti-submarine warfare (ASW), and a hull-mounted OQQ-11 anti-mine sonar from Hitachi. The vessels also feature the OYQ-1 combat management system and the OYX-1-29 information display/processing system.

To the rear of the frigates, a landing deck and single-hagar can support a Mitsubishi SH-60L Sea Hawk helicopter. Mogami class frigates are also capable of deploying and recovering two of MHI’s OZZ-5 uncrewed underwater vehicles (UUV), and two uncrewed surface vehicles (USV) — the exact type remains unclear — for minesweeping. They also feature two rigid-hull inflatable boats (RHIBs).

All of this is packed into a reduced signature design which will provide greater survivability for the class, allowing it to look like a much smaller vessel when operating in highly trafficked waterways or littoral areas. Overall radar detection range is also decreased, making long-range detection and engagement more challenging for enemy forces.  TheWarZone

So they have a littoral combat ship…successfully. Oh, and due to advanced automation, the Mogami needs a crew of 90, versus its predecessors’ crews of 220. By comparison, the Navy LCS core crew is 40 – but needs an additional crew, up to 75 personnel, depending on what mission it has. Sure helps with recruiting shortfalls, huh.

Then the part that really hurts…average cost for a Mogami is estimated at about $300,000,000. The best price for an LCS is about $352 million, but the first few cost over a half-billion – each.

The Navy is decommissioning nine of 35 littoral combat ships in the next few years, alongside the five already abandoned. Some, like the recently retired LCS Sioux City, entered service less than five years ago.

All in, that is a loss of about $7 billion…  Defense News

Maybe we need to have the guts to order them from Japan?




Category: "Your Tax Dollars At Work", Navy

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When they decomission a ship, is it cut up for scrap, cannibalized for parts or just towed out to sea for target practice and sinking.

I think chevy Vegas and ford pintos lasted longer than 5 years before they were scrapped, or just became beaters with heaters.


My sister had a ’72 Pinto hatchback, underpowered, rough riding, but that thing just would not die. I think it was 11 years old and almost 500k miles before it just plain fell apart. Not the normal Pinto experience.

President Elect Toxic Deplorable Racist SAH Neande



That …. is… EPIC.

A Proud Infidel®™



I’m not sure that the F-35 (at least the Marine Corps variant) flies like it is supposed to. Just ask the young Marine who was blissfully flying over South Carolina when he was suddenly ejected from his airplane!


Like an umpire tossing a player or manager… your outta here.

Old tanker

But to be fair, the spider was INSIDE the cockpit.


That gun deck must get pretty slippery.
Do they wax and buff it?

Old tanker

Maybe the Navy could trade some of the Naval version of the F35’s for some of Japan’s Mogami class Frigates.

jeff LPH 3 63-66

Those LCS’s had a small crew and the career Sailors jumped to the chance to get on one and be crossed trained on other rates which would could help in advancement. Read that in Navy Times hard copy. Also, The Skipper waited on the same crew chow line


I read TheWarZone article last week when it was posted. It really bugged me how the Japanese pulled this together so well (but congrats to them for doing it so far) yet we’ve mucked up LCS & the F-35 so bad to date.
And I lump the F-35 in here because it, like the LCS, was supposed to be a one-platform fits “X” amount of missions with just a new special module or software addition from the prime contractor. When first suggested I hoped maybe we had learned from our past process & engineering management mistakes trying to group too many missions to one platform, but nope. Our MIC mucked up again and not one leader has been sacked, no real penalties assessed (that I’m aware of) against corporate pirates pillaging our tax dollars and giving us damn things that still don’t work right. Retiring LCS hulls younger than my 12-year old cats even, what a waste.
Maybe the Japanese looked at our boondoggles and actually learned the lessons we didn’t?
And those new Mogami class are damn cool capable looking ships too. Hope the missile reloading process is quick; we’re going to need a lot against China.
One possible good news point for LCS was the SM-6 test from the USS Savannah this year though.



Gawd! We needs to buy us some of them. Oh…wait…if we did that would mean some retired Flag Ossifers might not get a Board of Directors job and Kongress Kritters wouldn’t get a kick back from the MIC in their district. Can’t have that happen. Saw a blurb on Story TV about how many ships and planes we built in WWII. Jus saying

A Proud Infidel®™

LCS, the Ford Edsel of Warships.