Amidst all the budgetary gridlock, it’s nice to know something still works in the federal government. The first of the Navy’s controversial Littoral Combat Ships, LCS-1 Freedom, will sail for Singapore, our not-quite-ally, this Friday, March 1st — the same day the sequestration cuts will start taking effect — sporting a new camouflage paint job that sets its apart from traditional naval vessels.(Paint schemes and the cost of applying them to something as massive as a warship are a big deal in the Navy).

Intended to build a new class of small, agile, and innovative warships, the LCS program has come under bitter criticism that the ships are too expensive for their size and too fragile for major combat. Freedom in particular has taken flak for hull cracks, which contractor Lockheed Martin insists are all repaired and won’t reoccur on redesigned follow-on ships. After years in development hell, the first LCS is finally underway on a real-world mission — headed for the Pacific amidst rising tensions between China and its neighbors.


  • PolicyWonk

    As long as nothing shoots at it, or causes it to undergo a shock greater than a level-1 standard sea-fram is built to handle, or requires her to take out a serious adversary over the horizon, USS Freedom stands a chance of having a successful mission.

    God speed, USS Freedom.

  • Jackov

    Won’t help against mines or torpedoes.

    • PolicyWonk

      Look at the bright side: every ship can be a minesweeper at least once!

  • squidgod

    Better camo would be spray painting “We’ll pay you not to shoot” on the side of the ship.

  • Jefe’ von Q

    Has anyone else noticed Lockheed Martins propensity for crap cracking? Anyone here heard the term decontenting? Perhaps it’s time to start looking to eliminated publicly traded companies from defense contract’s.

  • Jefe’ von Q

    The editing on my last post was horrible!

  • Ed Schirm

    I thought the whole idea of “Camouflage” was to blend in to it’s surroundings. Grey and Black? Oh, I get it,… Polluted Ocean with Oil Spills! They will never see us coming!

  • Jim

    Say what all of you will about the LCS program but this is the future of the navy. Does anyone think we will ever have another Battle of Midway?? Look from the sky…it is falling. Modular construction is less expensive and so is the speed for changing mission packages using modules. Just not going to be more battleships or heavy cruisers.

    • PolicyWonk

      Modular construction isn’t the problem: its the DESIGN. A level-1 sea-frame isn’t even built to withstand the same level of shock a fleet tanker is. I’m sorry, but a warship is something implicitly intended to go into harms way.

      Neither LCS variant is armed, designed or built to go in harms way, unless you’re defining harm’s way as only against non-governmentally-sponsored-opponents.

      No one is suggesting we’re going to be fighting a battle like Midway.

      However, if you look at the history of littoral warfare, what they lacked in size (such as the Battle of Midway), littoral battles more than made up for in sheer intensity.

  • JimBobJoe

    For me, the verdicts not out yet for the LCS. Yes, America is getting screwed on price by the usual suspects in the usual way, but America needs recapitalization in this area quickly.

    It is the most suited solution to counter the A2AD strategy of America’s likely adversaries in the South China Sea and Persian Gulf theaters, as those will be rife with sea mines and SSK’s. China possesses 40% of the worlds sea mines and is cranking out 4 SSK’s per year of ever increasing capability. The LCS doesn’t require the ability to address surface combatants bigger than patrol boats because everything bigger than patrol boats will be blown out of the water by the first week of combat.

    America has no choice, but to respond to this, and as Patton once said, “A good plan today is better than a perfect plan tomorrow.” There is probably a better solution, but America can’t wait around for this to become apparent.

  • WMU

    The word I hear is that this is mainly to hide the exhaust stains along the side of the ship.

  • getback

    man the F22 Is one bad ass jet

  • Patrick Leung

    looks like a coast guard cutter disguise as a navy ship……………


    it’s nice to know something still works in the federal government.