LITTORAL COMBAT SHIPS
LITTORAL COMBAT SHIPS
LITTORAL COMBAT SHIPS (LCS)
BRIEFING: The LCS is a new breed of U.S. Navy warship with
interchangeable capabilities optimized for littoral or coastal
missions. The concept provides a basic platform able to embark
mission packages, or modules, configured for specific missions.
The first three modules under development are for anti-mine,
anti-submarine and anti-surface warfare. Possibilities for future
development include homeland security and maritime interdiction modules.
The ships are intended to fight in enclosed or coastal contested waters, with their abilities optimized by networked, off-board sensors and weapons. They will feature an advanced networking capability to share tactical information with other Navy
aircraft, ships, submarines and joint units. Mission modules
consist of sensors and manned and unmanned vehicles that will
be used above, on and below the surface, operated by special
The LCS also will perform self-defense; high-speed transit;
maritime interdiction operations; intelligence, surveillance,
reconnaissance (ISR) and anti-terrorism/force-protection missions; as well as support special operations forces and homeland defense.
Industry teams led by Lockheed Martin and General
Dynamics were contracted in 2004 to build competing designs
for a fast, agile and networked surface combatant seaframe. The
Navy procurement program envisioned purchasing a number of
each design and left open the option that both designs could
proceed into series production. Keys to the original construction program were a fast building time of two years per ship and
a relatively inexpensive cost of about $220 million per hull,
exclusive of mission modules.
In April 2007, the Navy canceled its contract with Lockheed
Martin for the construction of LCS 3 after negotiations to control cost overruns failed. The second General Dynamics ship,
LCS 4, also was canceled in November 2007 after similar cost
overruns. In the fiscal 2009 budget, the Navy funded procurement of one vessel of each class and reassigned the hull numbers 3 and 4, respectively.
To meet cost constraints, the Navy restructured its acquisition strategy in 2010 and announced a competition between
Lockheed Martin and Austal (taking over from General
Dynamics beginning with LCS 6) for a 10-ship contract, with
two ships in fiscal 2010 and options through fiscal year 2014. In
December 2010, Congress approved an award to both teams
with multiyear contracts to build 10 ships each through 2015.
The Navy had planned to procure a total of 52 LCSs, but in
February 2014 Hagel ordered the Navy to truncate the LCS program at 32 ships and proceed with development of a frigate-sized Small Surface Combatant. That ship will be based on a
LCS 1, USS Freedom, a semi-planing monohull built by the
Lockheed Martin team, was commissioned Nov. 8, 2008. The
ship conducted a demonstration deployment to the U.S.
Southern Command and U.S. Pacific Command areas of operations in 2010 when it carried a modified surface warfare mission
package, a maritime security team and an MH-60S helicopter.
The ship conducted a more extensive, 10-month deployment in
2013, operating for much of the year from Singapore, where the
U.S. plans to forward-deploy four Freedom-class LCSs.
LCS 2, USS Independence, an all-aluminum trimaran built by
the General Dynamics team, was delivered to the Navy in
December 2009 and commissioned on Jan. 16, 2010. It has primarily been assigned to tests of the mine warfare mission package, and conducted the first launch and recovery of a Remote
Multi-Mission Vehicle from an LCS in June 2011.
USS Fort Worth was commissioned Sept. 22, 2012, and began
its first Western Pacific deployment in November 2014. USS
Coronado was commissioned on April 5, 2014.
DISPLACEMENT: .........approx. 3,000 metric tons full load
BEAM: .......................... 57. 4 feet
SPEED:......................... 40+ knots
POWER PLANT:........... 2 gas turbines, 2 diesel engines
AIRCRAFT:................... 1 MH-60R/S helicopter, 3 MQ- 8 VTUAVs with
a mission package installed
BUILDERS:...................Lockheed Martin industry team, Fincantieri
Marinette Marine Corp.
RODNEY M. DAVIS OLIVER HAZARD PERRY CLASS
FORT WORTH FREEDOM CLASS