USN's own documentation says that the LCS ships are not built to survive weapons impact, and that their primary means of providing crew safety is speed - 8 knots in a Freedom... HMAS Leeuwin could outrun it without breaking a sweat - and it's most dangerous opponent is likely to be some illegal migrants in an Indonesian fishing canoe. At the end of the day, it really doesn't matter that their duties are, if it's a war situation the other side is going to target ANY large asset on your side that moves, and quite a good number of assets that aren't moving too. A hell of a lot has to go right/wrong outlook depending before a Uran, Klub or Granit can hit your ship too, but you better believe that the US/NATO carry defense to them, Zircon? A decoy at end stage is useless unless you can move properly quick, like faster than any ship currently known.
Not every ship needs to be a multi billion dollar guided missile destroyer.
I wont argue that the LCS are great ships and yes the Freedom class has serious issues, but there needs to be context. The reason the LCS program started was because the USN needed to retire its old Oliver Hazard Perry frigates and was sending multi billion dollar guided missile destroyers and cruisers with their 300 plus crew to chase down pirates, drug runners and ward off terrorist speed boats.
This is an expensive use of valuable high end assets and also was resulting in these ships deteriorating more quickly than planned. The LCS was designed to solve this problem. They are not surface combatants designed to go toe-to-toe with the PLAN...they are designed to be deployed elsewhere so the serious surface combatants can be deployed to where they really need to be.
Did it turn out? Not really, but that has more to do with technical issues with the ships themselves rather than the concept and the fact that people keep trying to turn the ships into something they are not.
They need to get back to the basics with the LCS and refocus them on their original low end roles, not try to make them some sort of frigate.
As for missile defense, well a few things. First, NO ship is surviving a hit from a hypersonic cruise missile LCS or otherwise. Second ECM/jamming and decoys have ALWAYS been the most effective defense against guided missiles, NOT kinetic defenses.
Modern USN ships are as much electronic warfare platforms as they are weapons platforms: the ships are bristling with all sorts of antennas and arrays that are designed to send out jamming, blinding, spoofing and scrambling signals. There are more electronic weapons systems than actual weapons.
At the end stage there are decoys like SBROC and Nulka and others. SBROC works by shooting enormous blooms of radar reflecting material over the fleet that obscures the ships below. Nulka (an Australian developed system) works by hovering above the ships and mimicking the radar returns of the ship thus luring the missiles up and harmlessly over the top of the ship.
That doesn't mean the ships are invincible, but weapons like Zircon are not some definite end for surface warships.
The 8 knot reference seems to be incorrect or out dated
"Defense News reports that the temporary operating restrictions will limit the service's current LCS fleet to a top speed of 34 knots rather than the normal 40-plus knots until the retrofit process is complete."
Maybe its 8 knot reduction, not limit.
PUBLISHED JAN 21, 2021 7:59 PM BY THE MARITIME EXECUTIVE
The U.S. Navy says that it will not be taking delivery of any more Freedom-class littoral combat ships (LCSs) until lead contractor Lockheed Martin has fixed a major problem with the vessel's combining gear, the transmission that marries power input from the vessel's diesel engines and gas turbines.
There are also potential foreign govt sales.
Yes its lightly armoured (the aluminium super structure should have been the give away). Ship is designed for patrolling Each has the capabilities of a small assault transport
, including a flight deck
for housing two SH-60 or MH-60 Seahawk
helicopters, a stern ramp for operating small boats, and the cargo volume and payload to deliver a small assault
force with fighting vehicles
to a roll-on/roll-off