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$๐Ÿฏ๐—  ๐—ง๐—ข ๐—ฅ๐—˜๐—ฃ๐—”๐—œ๐—ฅ ๐—ก๐—”๐—ฉ๐—ฌ ๐—ฆ๐—›๐—œ๐—ฃ ๐—•๐—˜๐—œ๐—ก๐—š ๐——๐—˜๐—–๐—ข๐— ๐— ๐—œ๐—ฆ๐—ฆ๐—œ๐—ข๐—ก๐—˜๐—— ๐—ก๐—˜๐—ซ๐—ง ๐—™๐—ฌ?

In spite of the fact the Littoral Combat Ship USS Sioux City (LCS-11) is due to be decommissioned in FY 2023 (FY '23 begins October 2022), the Navy is planning on paying $3 million to install a rebuilt combining gear.

Sioux City (LCS-11) Freedom Class Littoral Combat Ship (Commissioned Nov 2018)

The Sioux City is one of of 5 LCS's (out of 10 active Freedom-class ships) scheduled to be decommissioned in FY 2023. Given that the Sioux City could be retired in just six moths or so, is spending $3M on repairs right now a wise investment? Perhaps, especially if the Navy is going to mothball the ship and keep it in good condition as part of its depleted reserve fleet. However, as the standing practice is as of late is to quickly destroy any retired ships that have any war-fighting capabilities, it is likely the Sioux City will be quickly scrapped and or sunk in a valueless SINKEX operation.

Of course the real issues is why we retiring billions of dollars of ships long before they were supposed to be retired? For example, the Sioux City was commissioned in November of 2018 and was supposed to have a service life of at least 25 years. This premature retirement of Navy ships is especially egregious when we are facing such a shortage of ships. Why is this happening?

The answer is two-fold:

1) Both variants of the LCS (Freedom and Independence) give little bang for their buck (punch way below their 3,500 ton weight) are falling apart and with their tiny crews do not have the endurance to keep up with properly crewed ships.

2) While they are truly Little Crappy Ships, they do take up space that defense contractors and their future employees (senior military commanders looking forward to retiring to six figure jobs in the defense industry) would like to fill with expensive new ships built by themselves.

The best possible spin on these repairs is that once the Sioux City is decommissioned it will be stripped for parts that can be used for spares as the other LCS's falling apart and these parts will include a recently rebuilt combining gear. Of course this will only happens if the Navy does not decommission all the Freedom class LCS's over the next few years as it is pushing for.

NOTE: The LCS's are pretty lousy ships and they do not provide a whole lot of bang for buck, but there has got to be someway to get some value out of them considering the billions spent to develop and build them. They do mount weapons and they can sail. Given that, mothballing them for use should we start to lose ships in a war with a country like China is better than scrapping. Or less likely, perhaps there is some clever way to modify them so they can be of use.

Note 2; The LCS was the result of an out of control procurement systems that is no longer capable of delivering cost-effective weapons systems and wastes many $10's of billions of dollars each year on under-performing weapons systems that are delivered years late, over budget and with less capability than was contracted for.

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