The summer Line of Defence magazine is out (link here
). Of note, Wayne Mapp argues for steadier procurement spending and a need to get on with it (which I whole-heartedly agree with), while Andrew Watts reiterates his modularity argument (which I am am less enthused by - perhaps for some small non-combatants first, eh Andrew), given the failures of the LCS (and the Canadian MCDV), and the modest success of the Danish (why has no one else adopted Stanflex?, and where are the Flyvefisken now - mostly gone from Danish service, and not replaced).
IMO mission/capability modules, done properly, could have a place aboard the vessels of many navies which are too small to be able to have specialized vessels for every or even most roles.
There were a number of failures with the USN's LCS programme, including the modular systems. I strongly suspect this was at least in part due to leadership and decision-makers wanting to have the envelope pushed, as well as measures of arrogance and hubris which led to modular systems architecture developed by other nations being ignored. The end result being a large, very fast frigate-sized vessel that was way over the desired cost whilst also being very under-armed. AFAIK many of the planned LCS modules were not developed into working modules, and those that were ended up taking significantly longer to install and configure than originally intended. IIRC it was found that changing out an LCS module was something that could take several weeks in a shipyard. Not as long as a refit, but if a change in fitout was required pre-deployment, it would require a vessel to be docked for several weeks and changes during a deployment were essentially not viable.
As for why no one else has adopted the StanFlex system, not entirely sure. I suspect that part of it is that StanFlex is partially built around or to work with the CMS the Danes. AFAIK to date no one else has taken the modular systems architecture and adapted it to work with the respective CMS being used by other nations' naval vessels. However, I also suspect at least part of the reason why such a system has not been adopted by others is a desire for other nations to develop their 'own' domestic system.
I do disagree about StanFlex having some 'modest' success in the RDN. Whilst the Flyvefisken
-class PB has now largely been retired from service, the Iver Huitfeldt
-class and Ansalon
-class frigates as well as the Knud Rasmussen
-class patrol vessels and Diana
-class patrol boats all have StanFlex sockets built into their designs. With a total of 40 StanFlex module sockets across the RDN, as well as room for a few more sockets to be installed, I would not really consider that as 'just' a modest success, at least IMO. Having the ability to alter the type of weapons fitted to a vessel fairly quickly, without requiring significant time in dock, could provide a range of useful benefits, benefits which IMO would be worthwhile to a number of smaller naval services.