The Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) is designed to defeat growing littoral threats and provide access and dominance in the coastal water battlespace. A fast, maneuverable and networked surface combatant, the LCS provides the required warfighting capabilities and operational flexibility to execute focused missions close to the shore such as mine warfare, anti-submarine warfare and surface warfare.
A flexible and reconfigurable seaframe, LCS derives combat capability from rapidly interchangeable mission modules and an open architecture command and control system. Modularity maximizes the flexibility of LCS and enables commanders to meet changing warfare needs, while also supporting spiral development and technology refresh.
The Lockheed Martin-led team includes naval architect Gibbs & Cox and ship builder Marinette Marine, as well as best-of-industry domestic and international teammates. The team’s design, a proven semi-planing steel monohull, provides outstanding agility and high-speed maneuverability. Its common combat system provides commonality with the U.S. Navy’s fleet and allows unprecedented interoperability, while making training more cost effective. The ship’s design also provides flexibility – its shallow draft and narrow beam allow greater access to global ports given existing infrastructure, which is essential for this ship’s missions.
The Lockheed Martin team has designed and constructed two ships for this new class. The team constructed USS Freedom (LCS 1), which was delivered to the Navy in 2008 and successfully completed its first deployment in 2010, two years ahead of schedule. Freedom is currently preparing for deployment to Singapore in 2013.
USS Fort Worth, the team’s second LCS, was delivered two months early and then commissioned into the fleet on Sept. 22 following her successful Navy acceptance trials in the spring. Improvements made from lessons learned on the first LCS to Fort Worth include improved fuel efficiency and speed via waterjet tunnel extensions, reduced weight, improved satellite and launch, recovery and handling systems and landing aids with advanced night vision capability.
The team’s next two ships – the Milwaukee (LCS 5) and the Detroit (LCS 7) – are currently under construction. In March, the Navy issued a contract modification to the Lockheed Martin team to build the Little Rock (LCS 9) and Sioux City (LCS 11) as part of the Navy’s revised 2010 acquisition strategy. The strategy calls for 10 ships to be awarded to the Lockheed Martin-led team between 2010 and 2015.
The Lockheed Martin LCS design is available in multiple configurations and is adaptable to meet the needs of naval forces around the globe. The international design—known as the Multi-Mission Combat Ship—features the proven Aegis combat system with the SPY-1F (V) radar and the MK 41 Vertical Launching System.