While the US Navy's latest warship, the Lockheed Martin built Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) - USS Freedom - drew a capacity crowd at this year's IMDEX exhibition, Lockheed Martin also had on show several design iterations of the baseline vessel, now known as the next-generation Multi-mission Combat Ship (MCS).
Developed specifically as a solution for protecting Southeast Asian waters, the MCS adopts a dynamic hull design, performance and leading-edge technology to integrate system, sensor and weapons capabilities. With a shallow draught, the MCS is fast and highly manoeuvrable, and is able to execute missions in coastal waters or open seas.
The MCS is being offered in various hull forms, with the design proven in sizes ranging from 67 metres to 150 metres in length, and displacement within the range of 1,600 to 3,500 tonnes. The design also features an open architecture combat management system drawn from the Aegis combat system now operational on more that 100 ships in customer navies around the world.
The adaptable MCS design allows customers to insert weapon management systems such as vertical missile launchers and other point defence systems. The ship design also includes substantive reconfigurable space to support modular mission requirements, manned helicopter and other unmanned systems.
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