“If I could tell you the classified damage performance of the ship, you wouldn’t believe how it good it is,” Gabrielson said. “This is not a commercial ship.”No, it is not a commercial ship, but it is also not a warship,. It is also not the tomb of death some (*cough* sid *cough*) paint it out to be. The survivability issue is something the N86 folks need to find a way to discuss, because it would really go a long way towards countering some of the rather dumb parts of the survivability criticism. That isn't to suggest all the points against the LCS in terms of survivability are dumb, but many are simply part of an argument made specifically due to a lack of good information to counter the opinions of professionals who have been allowed to feed bad information unchallenged. The article continues:
In October, Navy spokesman Lt. Clay Doss confirmed that initial tests by the Navy were showing the vessel to be six percent overweight, but maintained that it was not cause for concern. At the time, he said that the Navy was enacting a plan to meet requirements for damage stability, including minor redesign to one compartment and the enclosure of some unused space under the main deck. The final analysis of the modifications was underway and would implemented during two availabilities over the next six months, he said.Yea I saw this stuff myself, there are many things that are heavier than they need to be, and I took several photos of examples. If the reporters were paying attention as they roamed the ship they may have noticed as well, I know sailors will when they get a chance to tour the ship in Norfolk over the next few weeks.
Last week, Gabrielson said he that is engaging in discussions with various departments in the Navy * including the Surface Warfare Division (N86) within the office of the chief of naval operations and the Program Executive Office Ships -- about ways in which weight could be reduced. He also said he was giving feedback about the ship’s performance directly to Sean Stackley, the Navy’s acquisition chief.
“There’s stuff on board that I don’t think we need,” Gabrielson said. “There’s some pretty big things on board that I think we could live without. They’re things that are just here that are just -- you don’t need them.”
Cmdr. Donald Gabrielson is an excellent ambassador for that ship, but at some point the Navy needs to think about how to respond to the questions being asked and give answers that aren't compromising the ship, because "you wouldn’t believe how it good it is" doesn't really answer the question. That isn't Cmdr. Gabrielson's job by the way, his chain of command up needs to step up at some point and inject some confidence into the discussion of this ship so we can start seriously discussing how this ship can help address the challenges of littoral combat.