Littoral Combat Ship Class - LCS
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 Independence variant - designed and built by two industry teams, respectively led by Lockheed Martin and General Dynamics, Bath Iron Works. These seaframes will be outfitted with reconfigurable payloads, called Mission Packages, which can be changed out quickly. Mission packages are supported by special detachments that will deploy manned and unmanned vehicles and sensors in support of mine, undersea and surface warfare missions.
The LCS class consists of two variants, the Freedom variant and Independence variant - designed and built by two industry teams, respectively led by Lockheed Martin and General Dynamics, Bath Iron Works [LCS 4 and follow will be built by an Austal USA-led team]. These seaframes will be outfitted with reconfigurable payloads, called Mission Packages, which can be changed out quickly. Mission packages are supported by special detachments that will deploy manned and unmanned vehicles and sensors in support of mine, undersea and surface warfare missions.
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. USS Freedom (LCS 1) was delivered to the Navy on Sept. 18, 2008. USS Freedom was constructed by Lockheed Martin at the Marinette Marine Corporation's shipyard in Marinette, Wis.. USS Independence (LCS 2) was delivered to the Navy on Dec. 18, 2009. USS Independence was constructed by General Dynamics, Bath Iron Works, at the Austal USA shipyard in Mobile, Ala.
The Navy's LCS acquisition strategy to down-select to a single design resulted in a highly effective competition and an industry response that resulted in significant potential 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 each bidder a fixed-price, 10 ship block buy for a total of 20 ships from fiscal year 2010 to fiscal year 2015.
Contracts were awarded to Lockheed Martin and Austal USA on December 29, 2010, for the construction of up to 10 ships (FY 2010 – FY 2015) each beginning with LCS 5 and LCS 6, respectively.
The Navy made the decision in 2009 to deploy LCS 1 nearly two years early and on Feb. 16, 2010, LCS 1 deployed to the 4th Fleet in the U.S. Southern Command area of responsibility. She deployed with a Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron 22 detachment and a U.S. Coast Guard Law Enforcement Detachment. 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.
Also during its maiden deployment, USS Freedom performed integrated at-sea operations with the USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) Carrier Strike Group, performed at-sea maneuvers with the former-USS McInerney (FFG 8) and conducted several theater security cooperation port visits in Latin America. She transited the Panama Canal, continued operational deployment in the U.S. 3rd Fleet area of responsibility and arrived at her homeport of San Diego on April 23, 2010.
Later in the year USS Freedom also participated in the Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) exercise. Even though the Navy opted to send USS Freedom out to sea two years early, there were no changes to the overall scope of LCS 1 testing as a result of early deployment.
Any delays to the overall post delivery testing plan caused by the early deployment were offset by the extensive depth and breadth of knowledge gained during deployment. To accommodate early deployment, LCS developmental testing was re-sequenced. Some testing was accelerated to before deployment, some testing was accomplished on deployment, and some testing was deferred until after deployment.
Additionally, the Navy benefitted from LCS 1's early deployment by bringing operational issues to the forefront much sooner than under the original schedule, some of which would not have been learned until several more years had passed.
Early deployment provided a vital opportunity to collect data in real-world operational scenarios. This data will be invaluable in the ongoing effort to accomplish the larger LCS fleet integration strategy. Early deployment of LCS 1 was a tremendous opportunity to test the ship in a real-world environment and begin integrating this essential ship into our fleet.
The Navy commissioned LCS 3, USS Fort Worth, Sept. 22, 2012. Austal USA will deliver LCS 4, Coronado, in 2013. Lockheed Martin and Austal USA have started fabrication on LCS 5, Milwaukee, and LCS 6, Jackson, and are accomplishing pre-production efforts on LCS 7, Detroit, and LCS 8, Montgomery, respectively.
June 16, 2011, marked the first successful launch and recovery of the Remote Multi-Mission Vehicle (RMMV) from a Littoral Combat Ship. The deployment and recovery demonstration of the unmanned, remotely-operated RMMV was conducted from USS Independence (LCS 2) while underway.
The successful deployment and recovery of the RMMV from an LCS class ship while operating underway is a significant program milestone, and brings us one step closer to optimizing the Mine Countermeasure Mission Package. The combined mine hunting capabilities represented by RMS teamed with LCS will provide an advanced capability currently not in the Navy's mine warfare arsenal.
|Point Of Contact|
Office of Corporate Communication
Naval Sea Systems Command (OOD)
Washington, D.C. 20362
|General Characteristics, Freedom variant|
|Builder: Lockheed Martin|
|Length: 378 ft. (115.3 meters)|
|Beam: 57.4 ft. (17.5 meters) |
|Displacement: approximately 3,000 MT full load|
|Draft: 12.8 ft. (3.9 meters) |
|Speed: 40+ knots|
|USS Freedom (LCS 1), San Diego, CA|
|USS Fort Worth (LCS 3), San Diego, CA|
|PCU Milwaukee (LCS 5) - under construction|
|PCU Detroit (LCS 7) - under construction|
|General Characteristics, Independence variant |
|Builder: General Dynamics (LCS 4 and follow – Austal USA)|
|Length: 419 ft. (127.6 meters)|
|Beam: 103.7 ft. (31.6 meters)|
|Displacement: approximately 3,000 MT full load|
|Draft: 14.1 ft (4.3 meters)|
|Speed: 40+ knots|
|USS Independence (LCS 2), San Diego, CA|
|PCU Coronado (LCS 4), San Diego, CA - under construction|
|PCU Jackson (LCS 6) - under construction|
|PCU Montgomery (LCS 8) - under construction|
|Last Update: 3 October 2012|