(See M. Vego, pp. 46-50, September 2009 Proceedings)
Commander Steve Surko, U.S. Navy (Retired)—Dr. Vego raises several concerns about the littoral combat ship (LCS) capabilities, including the overemphasis on speed. He correctly notes the design trade-offs required to build a high-speed surface combatant and argues that the LCS will be able to successfully perform all its missions at a top speed of 32-35 knots. So why does the LCS need to be able to go at speeds up to 50 knots?
In December 2002, then-Rear Admiral Charles S. Hamilton II, Deputy Program Executive Officer for Ships, spoke at the American Society of Naval Engineers' High Speed-High Performance Ship & Craft Workshop. I still recall being flabbergasted when the admiral responded that he had a "gut feel that 50 knots was about right," to an audience member's question about the LCS' high-speed requirement.