Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) mission packages determining the best mix
Abbott, Benjamin P.
Lucas, Thomas W.
Good, Michael R
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The threat of a large fleet engagement in the open ocean is currently over shadowed by the asymmetric challenges presented by state and non-state actors using the littorals for illicit purposes. Unlike traditional multi-mission combatants, the Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) is a focused mission platform significantly less capable of handling simultaneous missions, whether they are planned or not. However, when deploying LCS as a squadron, a Combatant Commander may select to equip multiple LCS platforms with a mix of focused mission packages to ensure operational success across the broad range of challenges associated with littoral warfare. Through the use of simulation, design of experiments, and data analysis, this thesis simulated 41,195 littoral operations to address how many LCS should comprise an employed squadron, what the composition of a squadron should be, and how sensors and weapon systems contribute to the effectiveness of an employed squadron. The results indicate that a squadron size of six to ten LCS produces the best results, and that a compositional rule of thumb of five LCS for the primary threat and two LCS for the secondary threat applies to each warfare area. Lastly, the number of casualties suffered in each warfare area reinforces the danger associated with littoral combat and serves as a reminder that close engagement, while necessary, carries a cost.
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