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Littoral Combat Ships - Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) Mission Package

 
Description
An LCS equipped with an ASW Mission Package (MP) provides the Joint Force Commanders with the capability to conduct detect-to-engage operations against modern diesel-electric and nuclear submarines in littoral areas and defeat those that pose an immediate threat. The capability enables operational commanders assured access in contested, anti-access, and area denial littoral environments. Specific ASW capabilities include protecting forces in transit, protecting joint operating areas, and establishing ASW barriers. The LCS ASW mission is to conduct ASW operations in support of a carrier strike group (CSG) or amphibious readiness group (ARG), or while operating as part of an LCS surface action group (SAG) or independently. This will allow for the protection of CSG and ARG operating areas, the establishment of ASW barriers, and the escort of high-value units (HVUs) into and within theater. These efforts must be effective in the shallow littoral, as well as in the deep water approaches to the littorals.
 
Features
An ASW Mission Package is under development for delivery in the 2016 timeframe. Planned components include:

ASW Escort Module
Variable depth sonar (VDS)
Multi-function towed array (MFTA) acoustic receiver
Launch, handling and recovery equipment
Signal processing and systems control
Support containers
Torpedo Defense Module
Alertment: MFTA with Acoustic Intercept (ACI)
Countermeasures: Light Weight Tow (LWT)
Aviation Module
MH-60R Helicopter w/ALFS
Vertical Takeoff Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (2)
Support containers
ASW Mission Management / C2 Center
Mission package application software
Networks that interface with the total ship computing environment
 
Background
The Littoral Combat Ship is a fast, agile, and networked surface combatant optimized for operating in the littorals. The primary missions for the LCS include countering diesel submarine threats, littoral mine threats, and surface threats, such as small surface craft attacks, to assure maritime access for joint forces. The underlying strength of the LCS lies in its innovative design approach, applying modularity for operational flexibility. In executing each mission, LCS employs a modular Mine Countermeasures (MCM), Surface Warfare (SUW), or Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) mission package. In other words, each mission package can be quickly installed aboard an LCS ship to fulfill a specific mission, and then be removed, maintained, and upgraded at the Mission Package Support Facility (MPSF) for future use aboard any LCS ship.

Mission Packages were created for LCS in response to an ever changing threat environment and identification of warfighting gaps in the littorals. Because the Navy operates two different LCS ship designs, all mission packages are interchangeable between both ship designs. A mission package consists of mission modules, mission crew sailors, and support aircraft with aviation sailors. Mission Modules (MMs) combine mission systems (vehicles, sensors, and weapons) and support equipment that install into the seaframe via standard interfaces. Thus, a mission package fielded on board an LCS is described in three layers:

Mission Systems = Vehicles, Sensors, and Weapons
Mission Module = Mission Systems + Support Equipment
Mission Package = Mission Modules + Mission Crew Detachments + Aircraft

The quantity of each mission package type differs based on an analysis of projected operational needs; therefore, mission packages are developed and procured separately from the LCS seaframes. Currently, the Navy plans to procure 52 LCS ships as well as 16 ASW mission packages.
 
Point Of Contact
Office of Corporate Communication (SEA 00D)
Naval Sea Systems Command
Washington, D.C. 20376
 
Last Update: 9 December 2013