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Major problems with LCS-1 USS Freedom found

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posted on Jun, 22 2012 @ 12:02 AM
Aviation Week on May 9th, posted an article about an exclusive tour of the Lockheed built USS Freedom LCS-1. The navy has repeatedly said that the Freedom class is a top of the line ship, and only has a few problems to be fixed. What the reporter found is truly stunning.

There are cracks in the wheelhouse, corrosion and rust are rampant throughout the ship, the stern doors, for the waterborne mission area have gaps so big in them you can put a hand through them, which creates a vacuum at high speeds and sucks air out of parts of the ship. This is just a TINY portion of what was found during the tour, which the Navy did not endorse.

Freedom left drydock in April to undergo tests, that had been cut short on two previous attempts due to maintenance issues. In 16 months, she had been at sea for 15-20 days, and underway for 12 hours since June 2011, when she docked for repairs. During an anti-drug operation, the ship lost all power and blacked out for a short period of time. She has lost an engine during this time, in large part because seawater is leaking through a vent and getting into the engine, causing corrosion and damage.

Spokespeople for the Navy and Lockheed say that questions raised are "based on selective and outdated information" and there are no unexpected major problems for the ship. Yet just recently, instead of undergoing Final Contractor Trials(FCT) she underwent a "special trial". The special trial criteria are much looser than those for an FCT, while not holding the contractor liable for any deficiencies identified. This is good news for Lockheed, since she went through the trials with an engine out, multiple detectors not functioning, and a laundry list of other major problems.

The LCS is supposed to be the cornerstone for the Navy, yet it is said that it wouldn't be able to survive in a modern combat environment, and doesn't even have equipment to detect a torpedo in the water.

The Littoral Combat Ship (LCS-1) USS Freedom is plagued by extensive corrosion and manufacturing issues more recent and serious than anything the Pentagon or prime contractor Lockheed Martin has publicly acknowledged thus far.

This is based on a guided tour of the ship in dry dock, as well as sources intimately familiar with Freedom’s design, repairs and operations, U.S. Navy documents and defense analysts.

The vessel is rusting and blistered by corrosion in many areas, marred by crack repairs throughout the deckhouse and hampered by what appear to be flaws in vital piping systems.

Corrosion is particularly evident throughout the ship’s waterborne mission area, located at the Freedom’s stern, because of a large gap between the stern doors and the vessel’s deck floor, which allows water to pour in when the doors are closed. They are supposed to form a watertight seal (see photo.)

As part of its plan to address some of the Freedom’s problems, the Navy is apparently adding more sailors – a move that runs counter to the ship’s basic concept of operations, which are meant, among other things, to reduce weight and costs by deploying a ship with as few crewmembers as possible.

But according to a source intimately familiar with shipboard operations, the Navy has plans to increase the sailor count by 50% to 60 personnel this summer, and is studying the impact of further increasing the crew size to 150, close to the crew size on a a frigate, both to allow for the maintenance now being deferred, and to make sure the vessel can conduct combat operations. Because, as Navy Undersecretary Robert Work stressed during the Navy League conference, LCS is a warship.

However, there are caveats. “It [LCS] is not designed or intended to operate in a high-intensity air defense environment unless these operations are being conducted under the air defense coverage of a carrier strike group or amphibious ready group,” the conops notes. Or, as the Pentagon Director of Operational Test and Evaluation (DOT&E) puts it, “LCS is not expected to be survivable in a hostile combat environment.”

Defense analysts have voiced concerns, too. “The ship currently lacks a torpedo detection capability,” the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments (CSBA) says in a 2010 report.

What Price Freedom?

While the U.S. Navy touted the Littoral Combat Ship (LCS-1) USS Freedom’s completion of special trials in May as a solid success, service officials still found issues on the ship that need to be addressed, according to ship documents recently obtained by Aviation Week.

The ship areas and components that created issues during the special trials, the documents show, include the following: heat, flame, smoke and flood alarms; hydraulic power unit systems, airborne mission zone lift hoist and platform; lifting capstan; gypsy winch; oily water separator and transfer pump; reverse osmosis system; watertight doors, degaussing system, gas-turbine intake plenum space; and blow-in doors.

The ship also appears to be minus one of its four engines, upon which repair and reassembly work was started this month, according to the documents.

Aviation Week

edit on 6/22/2012 by Zaphod58 because: (no reason given)

posted on Jun, 22 2012 @ 12:07 AM
Just looking at the ship, it literally looks like a piece of garbage! Wow.....this was new in 2006?

Somebody padded their pockets, that's for sure. What a piece of snip.

posted on Jun, 22 2012 @ 12:09 AM
The link tells me I am not authorized to view this article

Exactly what does that mean.

SnF for the info.

posted on Jun, 22 2012 @ 12:12 AM
reply to post by liejunkie01

Try now, that should have fixed the links.

posted on Jun, 22 2012 @ 01:04 AM
reply to post by Zaphod58

Something tells me that this will be the M2/3 Bradley of the Sea.

While the Brad is now a outstanding vehicle, it didn't start that way and took decades to fix. Not to mention countless dollars as well.

I see this ship going the same route.

Contractor nudging his co-worker: "Let's make it slightly broke and they'll pay us more money to fix it because they have so much at stake with it."

Co-worker: "Brilliant!"
edit on 22-6-2012 by TDawgRex because: (no reason given)

posted on Jun, 22 2012 @ 01:23 AM
If it dont work out they look like they make good ferries for Staten island.

posted on Aug, 3 2014 @ 12:58 AM
why would the navy give this contract to Lockheed instead of other contractor ? and the strange part there are 2 type of LCS from 2 different vendors..

posted on Aug, 3 2014 @ 01:05 AM

I said about these problems may occur long time ago in one of your post. This has the same fate as F-35.

posted on Aug, 3 2014 @ 01:10 AM
a reply to: Zaphod58

Looks good. Bit # on the crew in a combat situation, not expected to survive....

posted on Aug, 3 2014 @ 03:37 AM
instead of putting all military contract to lockheed , wouldnt it be wiser to share all the contract with other contractors ? in regards to lockheed's disgrace in JSF program

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