Lockheed Martin’s Multi-mission Combat Ship (MCS): Capability to Protect Territorial Waters and to Detect and Defeat Threats Globally

Lockheed Martin’s Multi-mission Combat Ship (MCS)

Lockheed Martin is building on its experience with the U.S. Navy’s littoral shipbuilding program to offer this next-generation capability to meet the maritime challenges facing today’s navies worldwide.

By use of its dynamic hull design, performance and leading-edge technology to integrate system, sensor and weapons capabilities, Lockheed Martin’s Multi-mission Combat Ship (MCS) provides the necessary maritime security and war fighting prowess.

Nearly 90 percent of commercial goods that travel from one continent to another do so via ocean. This heavy commercial traffic demands open, uninhibited transit along sea lines of communication.

Countries must protect their maritime infrastructure and interests, and naval ships with mission-focused capabilities operating alone or as part of a joint force offer the best protection against a variety of conventional and asymmetric threats.  These diverse threats include submarines, surface ships and fast boats and pirates.   

As a fast, highly-maneuverable, shallow draft vessel that can execute missions in the open seas and coastal waters, the MCS provides a hull structure that suits many partner navy requirements.  Current interest in the hull lengths range from 90 meters to 118 meters and displacement ranges from 1,600 tons to 3,600 tons. The ship’s hull form is proven from 67 meters to 150 meters at various displacements.

With its hull design flexibility and open architecture combat management system, the MCS aligns with many partner navies’ preference for multi-mission, fixed combat systems with the flexibility to allocate reconfigurable space for use with modular and unmanned systems.

The ship’s adaptable design enables partner navies to insert fixed multi-mission or modular systems, including vertical launchers and surface-to-surface missile canisters, without major structural impact.  It is also cost-effective to build, customize and maintain as it’s based on a producible and affordable design that already meets U.S. Navy standards.

The MCS is able to conduct naval maritime missions focused on increasing global security, including surveillance and intelligence-gathering, patrolling territorial waters, and enforcing economic exclusion zones. The ship features endurance and habitability for extended operations.  Its large aviation flight deck and hangar for manned and unmanned platforms supports dual air vehicle operations.  Its waterborne mission zone with a reconfigurable space supports safe and expedient launch and recovery of multiple rigid-hull inflatable boat operations and unmanned vehicle use. This combination of inherent capability is well-suited for supporting counterterrorism activities, anti-piracy missions, special operations missions, maritime interdiction, and humanitarian relief operations.

With its intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) capability, the MCS can also share its sensor data as part of a larger, national network that maintains a common operational picture ashore.  This naval ISR ability strengthens the coordination of the nation’s operating forces. 

Its command and decision system can integrate data from remote sensors, linked helicopters, friendly naval vessels, and shore based command centers.  Although the sensor, weapon and operational capabilities of a single ship are important, its ability to accurately and quickly share information to make decisions is the best way to ensure success in modern naval operations.  It also will allow interoperability with U.S. and allied naval forces in joint operations.

To deter and interdict when necessary, the ship’s combat system is scaled from Aegis open architecture, which is proven and in use globally on more than 100 ships in six navies.  With its battle-tested lineage, the ships can be equipped to meet a variety of missions including anti-air, mine countermeasures, anti-surface, anti-submarine and electronic warfare. Navies can configure the ships to meet requirements by tailoring systems and automation with integrated sensors and weapons serves to best match their specific threats.

As naval forces worldwide look to the future, they see significant potential for instability and dynamic challenges to sovereign maritime security, including territorial boundaries and international commerce. Addressing those threats – considering the cost of the ships, weapons systems, technology and electronic systems – makes a forward-looking, multi-mission, and flexible ship that much more important.  That’s what the Lockheed Martin MCS can bring – an effective solution to meet those challenges today, while providing the capability for adaptation in the future to ensure the security of the seas.

May 22, 2014