LCS: “A New Tool in the Tool Box” – Adm. Rowden
The U.S. Navy’s littoral combat ship provides protection, situational awareness and anti-submarine warfare capabilities that give the fleet a valuable edge. And when working with carrier strike groups and guided missile destroyers, LCS is a key asset, according to Rear Adm. Thomas Rowden, Navy’s director of surface warfare, in recent reports from Military.com and Reuters on war games that took place in Newport, R.I.
“My initial impressions are that I think [the LCS] is going to play much more significantly in the open water than perhaps we had previously opined,” said the admiral.
Rowden described the LCS as bringing important sensing and protective technologies to the carrier strike group, such as the anti-submarine warfare package, which integrated seamlessly with the destroyers’ sonars and systems. Additionally, he expressed the littoral combat ship would effectively hunt submarines, as evidenced by the war games.
As the concept of operations expands and future requirements for the ship class evolve, the Lockheed Martin team continues to produce Freedom-class ships for the Navy and incorporate lessons learned and improvements.
“The team is coming down the learning curve with multiple hulls in production, and are operating at peak efficiency,” said Joe North, vice president of Littoral Ship Systems for Lockheed Martin’s Mission Systems and Training business. “And all that learning and optimization can directly benefit an upgraded capability on the existing or lengthened hull form.”
The nation’s first littoral combat ship, USS Freedom, deployed for 10 months in 2013 to Southeast Asia. The ship conducted patrols in the South China Sea, participated in multinational naval exercises and provided humanitarian aid during deployment. Later this year, the USS Fort Worth (LCS 3) will embark on a 16-month deployment to the Asia-Pacific region to further increase knowledge of the ship class.