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What's the point of the LCS (Littoral Combat Ships)?

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posted on May, 1 2006 @ 02:37 PM
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Okay I know what their mission is, but I think its kinda stupid to have mulit-mission destroyers and cruisers that are suppose to do pretty much everything, (less ships doing more work). And then come out with a class of vessels that do one mission well. I mean I have no problem with LCS ships for patroling coasts and acting as interdicting boats. But I believe that its stupid to have a boat specialy for anti-submarine warfare, or anti-aircraft warfare. When we have boats that are designed to take on those threats in the littoral and blue water enviornments anyway.

[edit on 1-5-2006 by blue cell]




posted on May, 1 2006 @ 02:40 PM
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Multi-mission ships do everything well, and nothing exceptionally. LCS will do brown water ops exceptionally well and can be used when and were we can't afford to send in a Burke, or a Ticonderoga.



posted on May, 1 2006 @ 06:47 PM
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As I said I am not opposed to all LCS ships, I just think that the DDX is equiped with an amazing underwater combat system, in fact its suppose to be revolutionary. Why can't they use that to hunt subs, and only that. Also the CGX will be equiped with an amazing radar system

The CG(X) cruiser will replace the Ticonderoga class AEGIS cruisers. The CG(X) will provide an “umbrella” of air and missile defense with longer -range missiles, protecting carrier strike groups and the other DD(X) vessels. It will also be able to track and engage ballistic missiles hundreds of miles inland



www.globalsecurity.org...



posted on May, 1 2006 @ 08:12 PM
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Originally posted by blue cell
As I said I am not opposed to all LCS ships, I just think that the DDX is equiped with an amazing underwater combat system, in fact its suppose to be revolutionary. Why can't they use that to hunt subs, and only that. Also the CGX will be equiped with an amazing radar system


I think you are describing one of the great misunderstandings regarding the LCS, and why we are likely to see Europe expand on the LCS to eventually replace some of their frigates after the first 55 deploy in the US Navy. The LCS will be far superior to just about any platform in the world in hunting submarines, including the DD(X) and CG(X). Hunting submarines, and submarine warfare in general, are both at the beginning of a revolution the LCS intends to be apart of.

The DD(X) will be a single ship, but will end up with only a towed array (maybe), a good bow mounted sonar, and 2 helicopters to fight submarines. The DD(X) is not being designed to deploy UUVs on the scale of the LCS (and maybe not at all to reduce cost and retain stealth).

The LCS on the other hand will have 1 helicopter, 3 VTUAVs, multi-static active sonars, 4 UUVs in at least 2 types, 2 USVs each capable of towing its own ULITE towed array sonar, and the LSC will carry and be able to deploy ADS networks itself or with offboard systems.

In real terms, a single LCS adds 3x the sprint-drift capability in blue water to a fast task force like a carrier group, or can cover 10x the area in brown water of any other platform in ASW for the US Navy, and LCS ships are being tested to deploy in squadrons of 2.



posted on May, 2 2006 @ 01:30 PM
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Well ok I looked at the DDX's specs and maybe your right it might be good but not revolutionary. I still think they should only have them for patroling , minesweeping and ASW. No more then that.



posted on May, 2 2006 @ 02:41 PM
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Will the LCS replace Oliver Hazard Perry class ships?
Or will they be in class of their own?



posted on May, 2 2006 @ 07:16 PM
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Originally posted by northwolf
Will the LCS replace Oliver Hazard Perry class ships?
Or will they be in class of their own?


The LCS is replacing the 30 Oliver Hazard Perry class Frigates, the 8 Osprey class Coastal Minehunters, and the 14 Avenger class Mine Countermeasures ships.

The Navy intends to replace those 52 ships with 55 LCS ships.


Originally posted by blue cell
I still think they should only have them for patroling , minesweeping and ASW. No more then that.


I'm betting that is because you don't understand the SUW module. The SUW module for the LCS will include 2 USVs, most likely SPARTANS, armed with the NETFIRES (15 missiles per launcher) system, a 30mm MK46 (the same gun used on the AC-130 gunship), or the non lethal RGES system... all of which are included in the SUW module. With 1 Helicopter and 3 Fire Scouts the SUW module allows for 6 offboard systems, all of which can be armed. Additionally, the LCS is outfitted with 3 NETFIRES systems itself, which is 45 missiles, and a 30mm MK46.

Don't dismiss the importance of the LCS being a platform for the Fire Scout though, this is something the US Navy needs in its arsonal but doesn't have the hanger space to carry on the DDGs/CGs. Why do you think the USS Oak Hill is surged, and the USS Trenton surged last week? The Navy is using large amphibious ships to support its fire scouts in the field. With the fire scouts electro-optical sensors including a infrared imager and a laser rangefinder / designator, the fire scout via the LCS CEC can provide targetting for a variety of precision weapons from virtually any other ship in the fleet, including the TACTOM and any air dropped laser guided or D-GPS weapon.

I think all three modules, the MIW, ASW, and SUW modules for both ship classes are very well thought out and have potential to make a major impact in operations.

Keep in mind, history shows there are 10 traditional roles for small combat ships: Battle Force Screening, Mine Warfare, Protection of Shipping, Scouting, Anti-Surface Warface, Amphibious Support, Close-in Fire Support, Riverine Warfare, Naval Special Operations Forces (SOF) Support, and Maritime Domain Awareness and Defensive Maritime Interdiction.

With the exception of Riverine Warfare, I think the LCS has potential in any of the other roles.



posted on May, 3 2006 @ 07:40 PM
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www.naval-technology.com...

How exactly are these RPV supposed to help hunt for subs when they have no ASW sensor or ASW ordnance?



posted on May, 4 2006 @ 10:26 AM
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Originally posted by psteel
www.naval-technology.com...

How exactly are these RPV supposed to help hunt for subs when they have no ASW sensor or ASW ordnance?


As apart of the ASW package weapons and sensors are being developed, including depth charges and sensor equipment like sonarbouys.

Additionally Fire Scouts act as data relays for UUVs performing hunter-killer operations in an area. This allows for real time operations of UUVs on preset missions to immidiately enable manual operation to respond to a threat. The data relay extends the range of the UUVs operation, allowing the LCS to cover greater area with its offboard systems.

Without the Fire Scouts, helicopters would have to be committed to long range missions of UUV systems. Helicopters are not the best tool for that job, a LCS can only carry 2 helicopters while using up to 4 UUVs. With the fire scouts UUV coverage is extended using 3 fire scouts and 1 helicopter instead of 2 helicopters.

USVs, which will likely also be armed for ASW in the future, also can be used as the data relay for UUVs.



posted on May, 4 2006 @ 06:37 PM
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Originally posted by darksided

Originally posted by psteel
www.naval-technology.com...

How exactly are these RPV supposed to help hunt for subs when they have no ASW sensor or ASW ordnance?


As apart of the ASW package weapons and sensors are being developed, including depth charges and sensor equipment like sonarbouys.

Additionally Fire Scouts act as data relays for UUVs performing hunter-killer operations in an area. This allows for real time operations of UUVs on preset missions to immidiately enable manual operation to respond to a threat. The data relay extends the range of the UUVs operation, allowing the LCS to cover greater area with its offboard systems.

Without the Fire Scouts, helicopters would have to be committed to long range missions of UUV systems. Helicopters are not the best tool for that job, a LCS can only carry 2 helicopters while using up to 4 UUVs. With the fire scouts UUV coverage is extended using 3 fire scouts and 1 helicopter instead of 2 helicopters.

USVs, which will likely also be armed for ASW in the future, also can be used as the data relay for UUVs.


Depth charges are useless and with a 90kg payload/4 hour loiter endurance [@ 110 nm] it would not be possible to haul much in the way of sonoboys or almost zero capacity or ASW weaponary other than some token DC. Serious ASW attack is done with heavy low frequencey dipping sonars and attacked by ~ 500kg class airlaunch Torpedos . Given [pair of warships on patrol] a choice between a pair of patroling long endurance EH 101s chasing down CZ contacts or a pair of medium ASW helo plus 1/2 dozen firescouts , I'll go with the EH-101s thank you very much.

It would take 1/2 dozen medium helos to match a pair of EH-101s and some RPVs are not going to improve the situation much. Maybe in OTH targeting of enemy warships/ground targets, but not ASW...you need the best in that department. Besides in the last GW USN were able to 'overload' the average escort with an additional pair of OH-6s and in some cases Marine Cobras, which sound like you don't have to design any added capability to the ship, since its already there.

RPV technology should be treated as throwaway/expendable ordnance, since they never last and compared to manned systems they are exceedingly vulnerable and limited in capability. Once the enemy gets a measure of the signal jamming needed to distrupt the data link they are next to useless. Computer autonomous operations are far to fallable to be of much use, other than some kind of 'nausance/harrasment' capability. Given how easy it was to fool /decoy manned bombers in resent wars , such expensive computer systems would be next to useless.


[edit on 4-5-2006 by psteel]



posted on May, 4 2006 @ 11:26 PM
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Originally posted by psteel
Depth charges are useless and with a 90kg payload/4 hour loiter endurance [@ 110 nm] it would not be possible to haul much in the way of sonoboys or almost zero capacity or ASW weaponary other than some token DC. Serious ASW attack is done with heavy low frequencey dipping sonars and attacked by ~ 500kg class airlaunch Torpedos . Given [pair of warships on patrol] a choice between a pair of patroling long endurance EH 101s chasing down CZ contacts or a pair of medium ASW helo plus 1/2 dozen firescouts , I'll go with the EH-101s thank you very much.

It would take 1/2 dozen medium helos to match a pair of EH-101s and some RPVs are not going to improve the situation much. Maybe in OTH targeting of enemy warships/ground targets, but not ASW...you need the best in that department. Besides in the last GW USN were able to 'overload' the average escort with an additional pair of OH-6s and in some cases Marine Cobras, which sound like you don't have to design any added capability to the ship, since its already there.

RPV technology should be treated as throwaway/expendable ordnance, since they never last and compared to manned systems they are exceedingly vulnerable and limited in capability. Once the enemy gets a measure of the signal jamming needed to distrupt the data link they are next to useless. Computer autonomous operations are far to fallable to be of much use, other than some kind of 'nausance/harrasment' capability. Given how easy it was to fool /decoy manned bombers in resent wars , such expensive computer systems would be next to useless.


I agree that arming the VTUAV doesn't appear to be a fruitful effort, but I'll wait and see what is developed before making a final judgement, however I think you are missing the point of the LCS, and overstating the capability of a submarine to jam a data relay between a UUV or USV and a UAV.

The LCS is a sensor platform, designed for detection. Under the LCS model, ASW prosecution would be handled by a pair of MH-60Rs, 1 from each ship, utilizing ALFS, sonarbouys, and torpedos.

The US Navy has already determined that 2 UUVs, specifically the AN/WLD-1 RMV, and 2 USVs towing ULITE,with dipping sonar, or sonarbouys with data relay via firescouts is far more effective in providing detection coveage than 4 manned helicopters would be. Not only is the area of coverage increased by the towed arrays of the platforms, but the endurance is much greater allowing more time on station for ASW operations. The intention is for the LCS to utilize the ASW module and the unmanned offboard systems in a detection role, allowing the Navy to maximize the use of the armed manned helos for the prosecution role.

I don't know how you think a submarine is going to break data relay between a USV or UUV and a UAV, but even if some equipment existed that could do it underwater, it is almost certainly going to result in a detection of the submarine itself. I think in a war situation, the Navy would welcome a submarine attacking an offboard unmanned system, it is unlikely a torpedo could be fired wihout exposing the position of the submarine.

At that point, particularly against a littoral SSK, it would allow for an ADS deployment on target providing maximum effectiveness in deploying the LCS's best detection system, unless the SSK is going to try to run, which is very unlikely.



posted on May, 5 2006 @ 09:02 PM
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Well said above, though I'll still throw in my two cents in summery...

The purpose of the LCS is to be a low cost asset, capable of higher speed and lower draft than magor surface combatants. It will rely on numerous unmanned vehicles to act as force multipliers, and interchangeable modules to make it exceptional in one of a variety of mission areas. This in turn ensures it's continued usefulnes at the cutting edge for longer than should otherwise be expected, simply because it's easier and cheaper to build and deploy better modules, than to refit or build entirely new ships to carry those technologies.

Incidently, I've heard nothing of a 30mm gun, though I'm pretty certain they intend to use the 54mm weapon from Bofors. Which I might add, is probrably the coolest gun ever, at least untill they start deploying railguns.



posted on May, 5 2006 @ 10:14 PM
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If we are speaking of littoral ops they will be in the enemies seaspace/airspace, so any jamming doesn't have to orginate from subs but can be command directed from shore. I would seriously question any study that shows a pair of helos plus a hand full of RPVs as being more efficent that 1/2 dozen of the main ASW helo types. Sounds like a load to me.

Lord knows this governement is bent on spending military money no matter how much sence it makes, so they will waste their money. If it was my country I would fight tooth and nail against such expensive luxuries. I've seen many similar concept ideas fail misserably in the face of real wars. They always look better on paper which unfortunately means its alot of sails pitch. I have little doubt this program will be follow that route, since the USN has not fought serious naval war in over 50 years, any such concepts are abstractions based on simulations .Such simulations find there way back to data base from wars that predate most officers experience. So its very much abstraction based on simulations , based on theory, inother words a lot of wishful thinking.

Good luck with that


[edit on 5-5-2006 by psteel]



posted on May, 6 2006 @ 09:33 AM
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Originally posted by psteel
I would seriously question any study that shows a pair of helos plus a hand full of RPVs as being more efficent that 1/2 dozen of the main ASW helo types. Sounds like a load to me.


The study has been conducted by the US Navy itself off Hawaii against both nuclear and conventional submarines over almost 2 years, but the UUV aspect of the research has recieved little of the attention due to the media focus on the HMS Gotland.

For more information, I would encourage you to watch a presentation given by the Heritage Foundation last month regarding the future of US submarines. During the presenation, Robort Work provides some interesting insights into the future of submarine detection. You can download the video which is about 1 hour and 15 minutes long.

The 30mm gun is covered in the DID article about the LCS mission modules.



posted on May, 6 2006 @ 05:25 PM
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I'm no naval buff, but in my humble opinion, the DDX and LCS are bad ideas.

The LCS' modular design which only permits it one job at a time makes it vulnerable on its own, therefore the argument that they will handle jobs that don't warrant sending in a DDG. In all likelihood we'll rarely see LCS on its own, and probably rarely unaccompanied by either DDX or a carrier.

The advantage of LCS is that you're fielding a smaller, more expendable vessel which hypothetically reduces the total damage to your power if you come up against the new Scramjet cruise missiles that are going to shake naval warfare down to its foundations supposedly.

The downside is that you're putting yourself in a logistical pickle with the smaller, one dimensional vessel.

DDX oddly enough has the opposite problem. To my mind, it seems to be a very large, very expensive missile magnet. That's the name of the game of course- can't got to war and not be shot at- but what is DDX offering us that could not be accomplished otherwise? An electric gun that can fire obscene distances? Great, the world's most expensive howitzer.

I don't have ALL of the information and I could be persuaded on this issue, but my understanding as I now have it tells me that we should have applied these new technologies to a new class of Frigate, thereby producing a more affordable and more realistic weapons system that we could share the cost of by selling to allies.

Wars are happening faster, doubts seem to be presenting themselves about the cost and deployability of heavy armor, and to a certain extent the future of force projection may lie not with the brown water navy but with long range bombers and heavy transport aircraft.

If I were building a military for America, my first priority would be the ability to secure airspace and deploy infantry and rocket artillery by air anywhere in the world within a week's notice or less. If North Korea makes its move, or Iran gets frisky with Saudi Arabia, it's all well and good if we can rain KE rounds on their cities from way off beyond the effective range of the SS-22, but my main priority is to have the Marines on the ground killing everything that approaches the line we told them not to cross.

In short- I don't understand heavy spending on the brown water navy, especially in a form that requires the presence of an excessively large and expensive ship, in a time when 1. there is such grave danger to such ships being threatened by new technologies and 2. the primary concerns of US security seem more oriented towards rapid deployment of light ground forces.



posted on May, 6 2006 @ 05:49 PM
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What I don't get is why doesn't the UK/US buy some of the Scandinavian ships that are currently being produced that have low observability(which is kind of the point with these new ships). It's kind of like re-inventing the wheel isn't it? (Not a Naval Buff either)



posted on May, 6 2006 @ 09:25 PM
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Originally posted by The Vagabond
The LCS' modular design which only permits it one job at a time makes it vulnerable on its own, therefore the argument that they will handle jobs that don't warrant sending in a DDG. In all likelihood we'll rarely see LCS on its own, and probably rarely unaccompanied by either DDX or a carrier.


2 points.

First, all 3 classes of ships the LCS is replacing can only perform 1 role today. 22 Minesweepers and 30 frigates with no missiles that basically perform the same role of a USCG cutter.

The Oliver Hazard Perry class today is armed with a 76mm gun, 6 torpedos, and 1 CIWS. Oliver Hazard Perry class ships do not have SM-1s anymore, SM-1s were removed years ago and sold to Taiwan and Australia to insure those countries had some, since SM-1s are no longer produced. MCMs and MHCs are both armed with Two .50 caliber machine guns, and the top speed is 14 knots.

Think about it, the LCS replacing these ships, even without mission modules, ends up with a 57mm and SeaRAM. While the 57mm is weaker than the 76mm of the FFG, the SeaRAM is an upgrade over the CIWS. With high top speeds, the LCS is an upgrade of existing ships that have large crews but virtually no weapons and in the case of minesweepers, very slow speed.

The arguement that the LCS will do missions performed by the DDG doesn't make sense to me, unless your saying today the Navy is doing that same thing sending MCMs, MHCs, or the FFGs to do that same mission. If that is happening today, the LCS should be able to perform those duties at least as well, but more likely much better, and certainly with better protection than all 3 classes.

Second, except for the South American region, the Navy doesn't deploy ships solo anymore. This is mainly for logistical reasons. The idea a LCS will be deployed solo is also unlikely since it is expected the LCS will operate in squadrons of 2 ships.

I agree with you about the DD(X), I hope the Navy builds 1 of each class proposed, and uses them both as technology demonstrators for the CG(X).



posted on May, 19 2006 @ 05:56 PM
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For all you kiddies who still think hunting modern subs is so taken for granted that you can manufacture the SSN capability....this is just a kindly reminder





HMS Gotland In For Service

(Source: Kockums AB; dated May 12, web-posted May 18, 2006)


At this very moment, a 35-man Kockums support team is in the USA, carrying out essential maintenance on the submarine HMS Gotland, following her participation in naval exercises in the Pacific. J�rgen Olsson and Peter Thuvesson lead the team. HMS Gotland has docked in San Diego for a thorough overhaul.

HMS Gotland was despatched by freighter to the US Third Fleet�s base at Point Loma, San Diego, in May 2005, in response to a US request. She is on lease to the US Navy, complete with her Swedish crew. Since her arrival, HMS Gotland has participated very successfully in a large number of joint exercises.

The programme of exercises started on July 18th last year, since when HMS Gotland has spent more than 110 days at sea. It was now time for an overhaul, and Kockums flew a team of experts over to the USA to carry out a service of the vessel and check her general state.

The Swedish crew has performed extremely well, receiving considerable praise from their American colleagues. HMS Gotland has been able to remain undetected. The Stirling AIP (Air Independent Propulsion) system, developed and installed by Kockums, has enabled the vessel to escape detection, even when sought by talented US crews, and even under difficult operating conditions.

Swedish submarine know-how, in terms of design, construction and operation, has received a lot of attention in the naval and defence press.


www.defense-aerospace.com




Now try to image how hard it would be to go after an entire fleet of these pesky Uboots with some second rate Unterseeboot Jaggers




[edit on 19-5-2006 by psteel]



posted on May, 21 2006 @ 02:51 AM
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Originally posted by Zaphod58
LCS will do brown water ops exceptionally well and can be used when and were we can't afford to send in a Burke, or a Ticonderoga.


Where have americans ever shown any consern for the COST of a military operation? You'll probably send in the LCS first, and then send in both the burke and ticonderoga, and just to be sure, set up a permanent base on every shore around the area.



posted on May, 22 2006 @ 09:15 PM
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wow, so many good points I'd like to address, and just since my last post!

From the bottom up...

Now try to image how hard it would be to go after an entire fleet of these pesky Uboots with some second rate Unterseeboot Jaggers

From the first couple of paragraphs in that excerpt, how about bombing the associated sub pens/shipyards, waiting a month, then continuing on with the war? While that class of submarine is exceptional in it's own right, it also (like every piece of military equipment more advanced than a thrown rock) has it's own logistical limitations.

Darksided, you hit the nail on the head! The US Navy doesn't deploy single ships anywhere, they deploy groups of ships. LCS is meant to add in one more _______ asset.

sardion2000, While there are some exceptionally fine warships, airplanes, weapons systems of foriegn origin out there, there are also two factors which create a drive towards domestic systems. The first is the political game of spending money in ones own backyard, the second is that there are certain very real advantages to using our own technology. Such as more readily available logistic support, Or spending a large amount of moeny without any foriegn government ever knowing for certain just how much we got for our dollar.

And finally, Vagabond.
My responce to Darksided's responce, heck, his responce alone pretty much answers the bit about the LCS. We'll still have the rest of the battlegroup right there in the area, but the LCS is to add one more _______ asset to the mix. Preferably with as little as a couple of days turnaround to reconfigure it for a different role.

The DD(X) is intended to be what the Arliegh Burke is not. While the Arliegh Burke is very arguably the most formidable AAW ship in the world, It's ability to do shore bombardment is frankly rather pitiful. Tomahawks are great for precision strikes against high value stationary targets, (high value as in someone saying "I'd REALLY like to see that blown up"), and a 5" is fine for beating another ship into submission. Niether however can clear very much area without extrodinary cost, or bringing the ship in much closer to shore than may be comfortable.


If I were building a military for America, my first priority would be the ability to secure airspace and deploy infantry and rocket artillery by air anywhere in the world within a week's notice or less. If North Korea makes its move, or Iran gets frisky with Saudi Arabia, it's all well and good if we can rain KE rounds on their cities from way off beyond the effective range of the SS-22, but my main priority is to have the Marines on the ground killing everything that approaches the line we told them not to cross.

Very sound logic, there and your previous comments. The trick with getting Marines ashore is that there are plenty of rulers in this world who might not want them coming ashore. While the images from WWII of landing craft dropping thier ramps, and Marines storming the beach aren't the prefered methods anymore, some tasks are still required to be accomplished over the beach. The purpose of the LCS is to make sure the way is clear to get to the beach, the purpose of the DD(X) will be to ensure the way is clear beyond it.

Incidently, what the 54mm lacks in size compared to the 76mm, it more than makes up for in rate of fire and fusing capabilities. I'd rather be on a ship relying on the Bofors than the Oto Malara just about anyday.

30mm as part of the misison modules? ok, that makes more sence than how I first read it.



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