Words of Advice:

"Never Feel Sorry For Anyone Who Owns an Airplane."-- Tina Marie

If Something Seems To Be Too Good To Be True, It's Best To Shoot It, Just In Case." -- Fiona Glenanne

Flying the Airplane is More Important than Radioing Your Plight to a Person on the Ground
Who is Incapable of Understanding or Doing Anything About It.
" -- Unknown

"There seems to be almost no problem that Congress cannot, by diligent efforts and careful legislative drafting, make ten times worse." -- Me

"What the hell is an `Aluminum Falcon'?" -- Emperor Palpatine

"Eck!" -- George the Cat

Friday, September 9, 2016

"Quantity has a Quality All of Its Own"

That's the rationale for churning out a lot of weapons as cheap as possible.

Another one is: "Perfect is the enemy of the 'good enough'."

The Liberty ships were a fine example of that. Problems were acceptable in wartime when the idea was to build cargo ships very quickly due to the losses in the Battle of the Atlantic. The B-29s were rushed through with teething problems, the early ones were known for engine fires. P-39s and P-400s were crappy fighters, though the Soviets made good use of them.

And, of course, the prime example is the T-34 tank, of which the Soviets made over 55,000. The Americans made almost as many Shermans.*

The LCS was supposed to be all that: Cheap to build and built in quantity. Except that they are such pieces of shit that the first four are being sidelined as T&E hulls that will only deploy if the Chinese need more ships to sink.

Which means that, eight years after the first one was commissioned, only one Independence-class LCS is in active service (and undergoing repairs from shock trials) and only one Freedom-class LCS is in active service (in repairs from an engineering casualty).

Fucking pitiful.

In that time, Bath has commissioned five DDG-51s and Ingalls three. The Navy has bought fourteen more of them. The LCSs take two crews to run, which is close to 200 officers and sailors. A DDG-51 takes over 300, but what the hell, they work and they're manned like warships (one crew per).

When you have one crew per ship, the crew has an identity with their ship. She's theirs, they own it and the ship's ability to sail and her appearance matter to the crew. Two or more crews, well, they don't own the ship, they rent her. If there's a problem that can be kicked to the next crew's cycle, it will be.

In short, a traditional warship is family. A multi-crewed warship is a whore. And they are both treated about as you'd expect.

Our circle-jerk of a congress, of course, doesn't seem to give a fuck. LockMart and Austal are making bank and, well, you know how the corporate welfare department at Ft. Fumble operates.
* The Germans, in comparison, made less than 2,000 Tiger tanks and 44,000 other tanks during the entire war, a number doubled by the Americans alone. The British made about 38,000 and used most of the Lend-Lease Shermans. The Soviets used Shermans and, besides the T-34, made about 10,000 other tanks.


deadstick said...

" The B-29s were rushed through with teething problems, the early ones were known for engine fires"

To quantify that, Japan shot down 150 B-29s; Curtiss-Wright shot down 200. Once they got the engine right, it powered the whole final generation of piston airliners.

CenterPuke88 said...

I would suggest you replace the T-34 with the M4 Sherman. The T-34 had a number of redeeming features besides numbers, the Sherman had numbers.

Iron City said...

The Sherman had quantity, true, but the M4E8 with the high velocity 75mm main gun could do everything except head on with a Tiger or Panther.

Anonymous said...

How about the Blue/Gold Crews on the boomers? Do they have the same problems as the LCS crewing?

Jack the Cold Warrior

Comrade Misfit said...

I wasn't a bubblehead. From what I was privately told, yes, there were problems. It was easy for animosity to build up between the two crews, especially over things such as cleanliness and equipment condition. A lot of that was alleviated because the Navy threw the kind of money into FBM upkeep and maintenance that they'd never throw into any surface ship (now that the nuke cruisers are gone).

3383 said...

They didn't throw that much at the Long Beach. The subs at Ballast Point were better maintained, but they need more that a surface ship to maintain the surface/ submergence ration equal to 1.

Unknown said...

The two crew thing seems to be phasing out.