The new Russian Steregushchy-class frigate, for example, is (at 2,200 tons) about 30% smaller than an [Littoral Combat Ship] and cost only 20-25% as much. Yet, it carries a 100mm automatic gun, 14.5-mm machineguns, close-in defense “Gatling gun” systems (AK-630), medium range surface to air missiles (S400 series), SS-N-25 anti-ship missiles (sub-sonic and shorter ranged than the US Harpoon but far more capable than the Griffin), 533-mm (21”) torpedoes, 324mm anti-submarine torpedoes and a helicopter. The ship is not only in production for the Russian Navy but also for the navies of Algeria and Indonesia. A version is also being built for China.
The Swedish Visby-class corvette was one of the models on which LCS was based. It carries the same 57mm gun plus antisubmarine rockets and torpedoes, anti-ship missiles, a radar-deflecting hull, and a helicopter pad (but no hangar, apparently). It can also reach 35 knots but it is only a fifth as large.
The Chinese have more than 80 Houbei-class fast-attack boats in service. Each costs only $40 million to build and displaces only 220 tons (one-fifteenth as much as an LCS). Yet they carry C-801 series anti-ship missiles that greatly outrange any weapon the LCS has.
About the only threat the LCS might handle is the “swarms” of Iranian machinegun and RPG-carrying speedboats in the Persian Gulf. Apart from the fact that the Iranian crisis will have been resolved for better or worse before most of the LCS fleet can be built, these Iranian small craft lack weapons big enough to menace any serious warship.”