A Proposal For A New Class Of Fire Support Ships

     With the retirement of the Iowa-class, the Navy has lost the majority of it's gunfire support capability, and the Zumwalts and Arleigh Burkes simply are to valuable to deploy in the littorals. Thus, the Navy needs a cheap, and expendable ship to support amphibious landings. For purposes of simplicity these classes will be referred to as the LCS(X).

1. The LCS(X) would a length of 100m, a beam of 15m, and a draft of no more than 5m. Displacement of the LCS(X) would be between 2000-4500 tons. Crew size can not exceed 400 men.

2. The LCS(X) would have a top speed of at least 30 knots, more preferably. The LCS(X) would have a range of at least 1600km without refueling at a speed of 20 knots.

3. The LCS(X) would be armed with one 127mm cannon on the bow and stern, one 57mm cannon fore of the aft 127mm cannon and one 57mm cannon aft of the bow 127mm gun.  The LCS(X) would also carry at least 2 M242 25mm autocannons and 4 M2HB 12.7mm machine guns for point defense.

4. Propulsion for the LCS(X) would be provided by 2 Rolls-Royce MT30 gas turbines and/or 2 Fairbanks-Morse diesel engines.

5. The cost of each LCS(X) cannot be allowed to exceed 500 million dollars, as the LCS(X) costs almost 700 million dollars. A great deal the equipment mentioned above comes from both LCS classes, and is proven equipment which would aid in lowering unit prices. The fact that the LCS(X) would carry no missiles and relatively little in the way of electronics helps as well.

6. Naming. All LCS(X0s would be named after U.S. rivers, comparable to LSTs in WWII. (Rio Grande, Hudson River, Missouri River, etc...)

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