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Littoral Combat Ships - Surface Warfare Mission Package

 
Description
The Surface Warfare (SUW) Mission Package (MP) installed on the Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) provides fleet protection from small boats and other asymmetrical threats. The SUW MP can also be used to provide operational security in interdiction missions against terrorist suspects and high seas pirates and can provide defense against shore attacks while operating in the littorals. These capabilities, when joined together, permit the ship's crew and the fleet commander to operate with confidence and address threats to the fleet while operating in the littorals and in constrictive environments. The SUW MP augments the core LCS sensor and weapons capabilities with gun, missile and aviation systems, providing a layered defense capability for rapidly detecting, tracking and prosecuting small boat threats. Ultimately, this MP enhances the safety of the Sailors while permitting the mission commander to maintain operational flexibility.
 
Features
The Baseline SUW MP will include:
• Gun Mission Module (GMM) EX 50 MOD 0
MK 46 MOD (X) Gun Weapon System with MK 44 MOD 2 30mm Automatic Cannon
Uses all Navy qualified 30mm x 173mm ammunition
400 rounds in turret
Two ready service magazines with 240 rounds each
Three shipping containers
• Surface-to-Surface Missile Module (SSMM)
Longbow Hellfire surface-to-surface missile systems
Launcher system with self-contained fire control
Hatch system / support structure / module service panels
Gas management system
Modular control computer
• Aviation Module
MH-60R Helicopter
Two MK299 MOD 2 launchers with 8 Hellfire missiles
GAU21 .50 caliber machine gun
M240 7.62mm machine gun
Two support containers
Two MQ-8B Vertical Takeoff Unmanned Aerial Vehicles
• One support container
• Maritime Security Module
Two 11m Rigid Hull Inflatable Boats (RHIBs) with cradles and parts
Visit, Board, Search, and Seizure (VBSS) gear
Boarding teams
• Mission Package Application Software (MPAS)
Mission specific application software that supports the MP in planning and executing the SUW Missions.
 
Background
The LCS 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. Fundamental to this approach is the capability to rapidly install interchangeable MPs into the seaframe. Therefore, each MP can be quickly installed aboard an LCS ship to fulfill a specific mission, and then be removed, maintained and upgraded at a Mission Package Support Facility (MPSF) for future use aboard any LCS ship.

MPs were created for LCS in response to an ever changing threat environment and identification of warfighting gaps in the littorals. Because the Navy awarded two different LCS ship designs, all MPs are interchangeable between both ship designs. A MP consists of Mission Modules (MMs), mission crew sailors and support aircraft with aviation sailors. MMs combine mission systems (vehicles, sensors and weapons) and support equipment that install into the seaframe via standard interfaces. Thus, a MP 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 and aviation crew detachments

The Mission Package Computing Environment (MPCE) is the primary interface that enables the MP to work on the ship. The MPCE is a permanently installed equipment shipset in each seaframe.

The quantity of each MP 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 has a requirement for 40 small surface combatants. Twenty-eight will be LCS and 12 will be frigates (FF). Sixteen SUW Mission Modules are currently planned for procurement. This concept reduces the overall cost of the LCS and will allow a smaller crew to operate and maintain the ship's core systems. The ship core crew consists of 40 Sailors, the SUW MP Detachment will have 19 Sailors and an aviation detachment will have 23 Sailors.

The first LCS deployment, from February to April 2010, featured the SUW MP configuration. USS Freedom (LCS 1) deployed with two GMMs, MPAS hosted on the ship's MPCE, a MH-60S helicopter, the Maritime Security Module (MSM), support containers, and Sailors. LCS 1 operated within the U.S. 4th Fleet (C4F) in the U.S. Southern Command (USSOUTHCOM) Area of Responsibility (AOR). The SUW MP proved to be extremely successful throughout the deployment. During its 47 days operating in the region, USS Freedom conducted counter trafficking patrols in the Caribbean Sea and off the coasts of Central and South America, in support of Joint Interagency Task Force-South, USSOUTHCOM and the U.S. Coast Guard, with the SUW MP GMM fully operational.

From March to December 2013, USS Freedom was deployed to Singapore with a SUW MP embarked. LCS 1 worked with many regional navies that operate comparably-sized ships during a series of port visits, exercises and exchanges. This deployment demonstrated the LCS forward deployment concept and reinforced ongoing cooperative security efforts with the U.S. Navy's partners and allies throughout Southeast Asia.

The SUW MP attained Initial Operational Capability (IOC) in November 2014 following successful completion of Initial Operational Test & Evaluation (IOT&E). At the same time, USS Fort Worth (LCS 3) began a 16-month rotational deployment to Singapore with a SUW MP embarked. This deployment implemented lessons learned from USS Freedom's 10-month deployment and included additional port visits and exercises with regional navies. The SSMM is currently undergoing developmental testing with operational testing scheduled for March 2017. The Navy plans to have the system fielded to the fleet by December 2017.
 
Point Of Contact
Office of Corporate Communication (SEA 00D)
Naval Sea Systems Command
Washington, D.C. 20376
 
Last Update: 8 December 2016