Cover: Littoral Combat Ships

Littoral Combat Ships

Relating Performance to Mission Package Inventories, Homeports, and Installation Sites

Published May 7, 2007

by Brien Alkire, John Birkler, Lisa Dolan, James Dryden, Bryce Mason, Gordon T. Lee, John F. Schank, Michael Hayes


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The Navy’s Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) constitutes a new class of fast, agile, and networked warships designed to overcome threats in shallow waters posed by mines, diesel-electric submarines, fast-attack craft, and fast inshore attack craft. The LCS Program Office asked RAND to help it gain a clearer understanding of operational, logistics, and cost trade-offs between three interdependent elements of the program: the number of LCSs in the fleet, the number of mission packages that those LCSs would require in order to perform a range of missions, and the number and locations of LCS homeports and mission package installation sites. Alkire et al. worked closely with the Navy between January and November 2005 to identify scenarios that define the use and deployment of LCSs. Using these scenarios and a range of LCS fleet sizes, the authors established baseline considerations connected with developing and deploying a modular LCS. They then developed a series of analytical tools to address the following issues: Where are the optimum locations for LCS homeports and mission package installation sites? How many mission packages of each type should be procured and when? How many mission packages of each type should be stored on available seaframes, at homeports, and at mission package installation sites? What are the costs of acquiring mission packages and facilities for homeports and installation sites? What cost and performance trade-offs and sensitivities occur with various combinations of the number of and the types of mission packages?

The research described in this report was prepared for the United States Navy. The research was conducted in the RAND National Defense Research Institute, a federally funded research and development center sponsored by the Office of the Secretary of Defense, the Joint Staff, the Unified Combatant Commands, the Department of the Navy, the Marine Corps, the defense agencies, and the defense Intelligence Community.

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