The Navy's Littoral Combat Ships

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  1. Admin

    Admin Captain Staff Member Administrator

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    LITTORAL COMBAT SHIP CLASS - LCS

    Description
    LCS is a fast, agile, focused-mission platform designed for operation in near-shore environments yet capable of open-ocean operation. It is designed to defeat asymmetric "anti-access" threats such as mines, quiet diesel submarines and fast surface craft.

    The LCS class consists of two variants, the Freedom variant and the Independence variant - designed and built by two industry teams. The Freedom variant team is led by Lockheed Martin (for the odd-numbered hulls, e.g. LCS 1). The Independence variant team is being led by Austal USA (for the subsequent even-numbered hulls) and was originally led by General Dynamics, Bath Iron Works (LCS 2 and LCS 4).

    The LCS seaframes will be outfitted with reconfigurable payloads, called mission modules (made up of mission systems and support equipment), which can be changed out quickly. These modules combine with crew detachments and aviation assets to become complete mission packages, which will deploy manned and unmanned vehicles and sensors in support of mine countermeasures, anti-submarine warfare, or surface warfare missions.

    Littoral Combat Ship: The Future Is Now

    Background
    Initiated in February 2002, the LCS program represents a significant reduction in time to acquire, design and build ships in comparison to any previous ship class. Constructed by Lockheed Martin in the Marinette Marine Corporation's shipyard in Marinette, Wisconsin, USS Freedom (LCS 1) was delivered to the Navy on Sept. 18, 2008. USS Independence (LCS 2) was constructed by General Dynamics, Bath Iron Works in the Austal USA shipyard in Mobile, Alabama. and delivered to the Navy on Dec. 18, 2009. Lockheed Martin was also responsible for the construction and delivery of LCS 3 (USS Fort Worth, which was commissioned in September 2012) and General Dynamics for construction and delivery of LCS 4 (USS Coronado, which was commissioned in April 2014).

    The Navy's LCS acquisition strategy to down select to a single design in 2010 resulted in a highly effective competition and an industry response that produced significant savings in the LCS program. These competitive bids, coupled with the Navy's desire to increase ship procurement rates to support operational requirements, created an opportunity to award both bidders a fixed-price, ten-ship block buy for a total of 20 ships from fiscal years 2010 to 2015.

    Contracts were awarded to Lockheed Martin and Austal USA in December 2010, for the construction of up to 10 ships each (FY 2010 - FY 2015), beginning with LCS 5 and LCS 6. PCU Jackson (LCS 6), the first of the block-buy ships, delivered to the Navy on Aug. 6, 2015, with PCU Milwaukee (LCS 5) scheduled for delivery in late 2015.

    In order to bring operational issues to the forefront, collect data in real-world operational scenarios, and inform the larger LCS fleet integration strategy, the Navy decided to deploy USS Freedom (LCS 1) nearly two years early. On Feb. 16, 2010, the ship deployed to the Fourth Fleet in the U.S. Southern Command area of responsibility. During this deployment, Freedom successfully conducted four drug seizures, netting more than five tons of cocaine, detained nine suspected drug smugglers, and disabled two 'go-fast' drug vessels. USS Freedom also participated in the Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) exercise during this early deployment.

    Freedom deployed a second time on March 1, 2013, crossing the Pacific to operate in Southeast Asia out of Singapore for eight months. Marking the first of many planned rotational deployments to the Western Pacific for the LCS platform, Freedom conducted maritime security operations with regional partners and allies. This deployment allowed the Navy to demonstrate Freedom's operational capabilities as well as evaluate crew rotation and maintenance plans for the entire LCS class.

    Following her commissioning in Mobile, Alabama in January 2010, Independence continued on to her homeport in San Diego, Calif., and conducted Post Delivery Test and Trials (PDTT) and a Post Shakedown Availability (PSA). She participated in the Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) exercise 2014. LCS 2's Initial Operational Test and Evaluation (IOT&E) with the Mine Countermeasure (MCM) Mission Package is planned for late 2015.

    Following the commissioning of Fort Worth in Galveston, Texas in September 2012, and Coronado in Coronado, California in April 2014, LCS 3 and LCS 4 joined sister ships Freedom and Independence in their homeport, San Diego. While San Diego will be the homeport for 16 of the first 24 littoral combat ships, eight of the later Freedom variant hulls are planned for homeporting in Mayport, Florida.

    Fort Worth completed Surface Warfare (SUW) Mission Package IOT&E on April 18, 2014, satisfying the IOT&E and Initial Operational Capability (IOC) program milestones. She also completed Total Ship Survivability Trials (TSST) in October 2014. Fort Worth departed San Diego Nov. 17, 2014, for a 16-month rotational deployment to Singapore in support of the Navy's strategic rebalance to the Pacific.

    Coronado, a RIMPAC 2014 participant, completed PSA in April 2015, officially transferred to the fleet 30 April 2015, and will conduct IOT&E with the Surface Warfare (SUW) Mission Package in September 2015.

    Milwaukee (LCS 5), Detroit (LCS 7), Little Rock (LCS 9), Sioux City (LCS 11), Wichita (LCS 13), Billings (LCS 15), and Indianapolis (LCS 17) are under contract to Lockheed Martin and are in construction at the Marinette Marine Corp. shipyard. Jackson (LCS 6) was delivered to the Navy on August 11, 2015 and is scheduled to be commissioned in Gulfport, Mississippi on December 5, 2015. Montgomery (LCS 8), Gabrielle Giffords (LCS 10), Omaha (LCS 12), Manchester (LCS 14), Tulsa (LCS 16) and Charleston (LCS 18) are under construction at the Austal USA shipyard. In addition, Cincinnati (LCS 20), and Kansas City (LCS 22) are under contract to Austal USA and in the pre-construction phase.

    St. Louis (LCS 19), the yet-to-be-named LCS 21, and Cooperstown (LCS 23) are under contract with Lockheed Martin and in the pre-production phase at Marinette Marine Corp, while Cincinnati (LCS 20), Kansas City (LCS 22), and Oakland (LCS 24) are under contract with Austal USA and in the pre-production phase.

    Point Of Contact
    Office of Corporate Communication
    Naval Sea Systems Command (OOD)
    Washington, D.C. 20362

    General Characteristics, Freedom variant

    usa_fs_lcs_1_freedom-30148.jpg

    Builder:
    Lockheed Martin
    Length: 387.6 ft. (118.1 meters)
    Beam: 57.7 ft. (17.6 meters)
    Displacement: approximately 3,400 MT full load
    Draft: 14.1 ft. (4.3 meters)
    Speed: 40+ knots
    Ships:
    USS Freedom (LCS 1), San Diego, CA
    PCU Sioux City (LCS 11) - under construction
    PCU Wichita (LCS 13) - in pre-production phase
    PCU Billings (LCS 15) - in pre-production phase
    USS Fort Worth (LCS 3), San Diego, CA
    PCU Milwaukee (LCS 5) - under construction
    PCU Detroit (LCS 7) - under construction
    PCU Little Rock (LCS 9) - under construction

    General Characteristics, Independent variant

    uss_independence_lcs_2-55640.jpg

    Builder:
    General Dynamics (LCS 2 and LCS 4), Austal USA (LCS 6 and follow)
    Length: 418.6 ft. (127.6 meters)
    Height: 103.7 ft. (31.6 meters)
    Beam: 103.7 ft. (31.6 meters)
    Displacement: approximately 3,100 MT full load
    Draft: 14.4 ft. (4.4 meters)
    Ships:
    PCU Gabrielle Giffords (LCS 10) - under construction
    PCU Omaha (LCS 12) - under construction
    PCU Manchester (LCS 14) - in pre-production phase
    PCU Tulsa (LCS 16) - in pre-production phase
    USS Independence (LCS 2), San Diego, CA
    USS Coronado (LCS 4), San Diego, CA
    PCU Jackson (LCS 6) - under construction
    PCU Montgomery (LCS 8) - under construction

    Last Update: 19 August 2015

    http://www.navy.mil/navydata/fact_display.asp?cid=4200&tid=1650&ct=4
     
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  2. Admin

    Admin Captain Staff Member Administrator

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    Independence LCS Variant:

    image6b.jpg

    SHIP_LCS-GD_cutaway.png


    SHIP_LCS_GD_Flight_0_Core_Capabilities_lg.jpg

    lcs-gd-image01.jpg

    Freedom LCS Variant:

    uss-lcs-1-freedom-amphibious-assault-ship.png

    lcs-international-content-large.gif

    lcs_lm_seaframe_msncap_05.jpg

    lcs-5-9201.png
     
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  3. Sven

    Sven Teh Viking dood Industry Professional Ret. Military

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    Not the worse ships afloat, but still without teeth!

    If this is our future frigate - 20 Small Surface Combatants being planned for procurement, then what OTH missile is going to be used?

    [​IMG]

    LRASM?



    NSM?



    Tomahawk?



    Not a bad choice among them!

    And according to the current SSC planned, a VLS system from SM-2 or SM-6... or any air-defense outside of SeaRAM, isn't planned. These will be FF (fast frigate) designated, not FFG with notes that the frigate has guided air-defense missiles.

    As much as I dislike the Independence variant of the LCS, Freedom being my preferred, this SSC layout - being Independence International, makes a lot more sense:

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2015
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  4. Admin

    Admin Captain Staff Member Administrator

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    Good point about the lack of teeth but I do like how you can onload and offload equipment from port easily with these ships. It gives the navy the ability to conduct and support small amphibious ops. I don't think we will be launching large amphibious ops in the near to medium future rather we will use small raiding parties to take out unconventional forces stationed in politically unstable areas, and to capture small islands, reefs etc.

    I like the overall concept.
     
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  5. Technofox

    Technofox That Norwegian girl Staff Member Ret. Military Developer

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    I like the idea too, I just think the implementation has been a bit misguided.

    Having a Surface Warfare:

    [​IMG]

    Mine-Countermeasures:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    And ASW capability:

    [​IMG]

    Without the need to carry the gear full-time as seen on multi-role destroyers and frigates makes the vesels lighter, cheaper and easier to upgrade for future missions with new or enchanced mission packages. This is a great concept, it's just been problematic in its development.

    But, and I think this is important, while the LCS will be supported in theater by destroyers, carriers, cruisers or regional allies, does this modularity of the LCS design allow it to be flexible enough to respond rapidly to dynamic threats?

    An Arleigh Burke class destroyer doesn't need to port to swap mission modules, it already has an ASW, Surface Warfare and Air-defense role, though it lags in mine-countermeasures. If a region gets hot how soon can the LCS port, swap mission packages and get back into the fight?

    ...

    This photo, featuring a few THAAD launchers, is a bit outlandish, but could the LCS be configured with a BMD package too?

    [​IMG]

    This is what's great about the LCS. It's adaptable, up-gradable and plentiful enough that the fleet can cover most roles without needing each ship to be a static-multi-role ship, as seen on destroyers.
     
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  6. AMDR

    AMDR Captain Staff Member Administrator

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    Navy to Commission Littoral Combat Ship Jackson (LCS-6)
    http://www.seapowermagazine.org/stories/20151204-jackson.html
    GULFPORT, Miss. — The Navy will commission its newest Independence-variant littoral combat ship (LCS), USS Jackson, during a ceremony Dec. 5, the Navy announced in a Dec. 4 release.

    Jackson, designated LCS 6, honors the city of Jackson, Miss., and is the first U.S. ship to be named in honor of the city, which was named for Andrew Jackson, the seventh president of the United States.


    Airbus to Provide TRS-4D AESA Radar to the Freedom-variant LCS
    http://www.seapowermagazine.org/stories/20151201-trs-4d.html
    HERNDON, Va. — Airbus Defense and Space Inc. and its affiliate, Airbus Defence and Space GmbH, completed successful factory acceptance testing of the TRS-4D naval radar scheduled to go aboard the U.S. Navy’s Freedom-variant littoral combat ship (LCS) starting with LCS 17, Airbus announced in a Nov. 30 release.


    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    I'm not gonna lie, I used to be totally against the LCS and its lack of weaponry usable versus a "near-peer" adversary. But the fact they they will start pumping these things out at 3-4 a year, and are supposed to start backfits of older LCSs in 2017, I'm slowly warming up to it. :D
     
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  7. Technofox

    Technofox That Norwegian girl Staff Member Ret. Military Developer

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    The Navy's $864 Million Underwater Drones Still Don't Work

    [​IMG]

    The U.S. Navy’s new Littoral Combat Ship would be ineffective at hunting for mines because an underwater drone made by Lockheed Martin Corp. that’s supposed to find them often fails to work, the Pentagon’s weapons-testing office found.

    While mine-hunting is intended to be the primary combat mission of the ship, the drones required to detect underwater explosive devices from a safe distance have failed 24 times since September 2014, according to Navy test data provided to the Defense Department’s Office of Operational Test & Evaluation.

    Most recently, the drones failed 14 times over 300 hours in a five-month round of preliminary trials at sea that ended Aug. 30, according to the data. Crippled drones were towed to port seven times, and the intense combat testing required for increased purchases has been delayed. The Navy plans to spend $864 million buying 54 drones from Lockheed, the biggest U.S. contractor.

    ...

    Read the rest here

    ...

    Oi! I have faith in the LCS, mine countermeasures package included, but dang if it hasn't and still isn't a bumpy ride:confused:. The ships are progressing nicely, their faults have largely been ironed out, but their missions packages, eek! Much work to be done there.
     
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  8. AMDR

    AMDR Captain Staff Member Administrator

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    The Navy’s newest ship breaks down, limps into port

    ABOARD THE LITTORAL COMBAT SHIP MILWAUKEE, VIRGINIA CAPES – The littoral combat ship Milwaukee, the Navy’s newest ship, broke down Dec. 11 and had to be towed more than 40 nautical miles to Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek, Virginia.

    The ship suffered an engineering casualty while transiting from Halifax, Canada, to Mayport, Florida, and ultimately its home port of San Diego. The cause is being evaluated by ship’s crew and technical consultants.

    Initial indications are that fine metal debris collected in the lube oil filter caused the system to shut down, according to a Navy statement provided to Navy Times. The cause of the metal debris in the lube oil system is not known and assessments are ongoing.


    More here: http://scoopdeck.navytimes.com/2015/12/12/the-navys-newest-ship-breaks-down-limps-into-port/
    NAV-USS-Milwaukee101-1024x682.jpg
    USNS Grapple tows USS Milwaukee, LCS-5, to Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek, Va. on Friday, December 11, 2015. LCS-5 suffered an engine casualty while in transit. (Credit: Mike Morones/Staff
     
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  9. Pathfinder

    Pathfinder Lieutenant Colonel

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    Pentagon Cuts LCS to 40 Ships, 1 Shipbuilder

    WASHINGTON — The US Navy's fight to buy 52 variants of its littoral combat ship (LCS) from two shipbuilders may have taken a fatal blow this week after the secretary of defense directed the service to cap its buy at 40 ships and pick only one supplier. The directive also orders the Navy to buy only one ship annually over the next four years, down from three per year.

    http://www.defensenews.com/story/de...-lockheed-martin-fincantieri-austal/77452734/
     
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  10. Falcon

    Falcon Major Staff Member Social Media Team

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    USS Omaha, the newest member of Navy's fleet

    The ship is the fourth naval vessel to bear the city’s name (Omaha), a chain dating back to the commissioning of a sloop-of-war in 1869. The last USS Omaha was a nuclear attack submarine that served in the Navy from 1978 to 1995.

    It’s the sixth in a line of Independence-class littoral combat ships with a futuristic trimaran design that sits high above the water. Deputy Defense Secretary Robert Work once compared it to a Klingon Bird of Prey ship in “Star Trek.”


    http://www.wowt.com/home/headlines/USS-Omaha-Christened-363040841.html
    http://www.omaha.com/news/military/...cle_60250fac-aa49-5c83-8a56-526aa49ff08e.html
     
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