Looking to Build on LCS’s Success The Multi-Mission Surface Combatant for international navies is based on the Lockheed Martin-led team’s LCS design


The United States Navy will deploy USS Freedom – the flexible Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) that features interchangeable mission modules – to Singapore in March 2013.

Lockheed Martin, which led the team that built it, is optimistic there will be a lot more multi-mission ships in international ports in the years ahead. Lockheed Martin is offering the Multi-Mission Surface Combatant based on its proven design that can be tailored to the needs of navies around the world.

“The resurgence of piracy and threats to open trade and commerce, along with the need for nations to protect sovereign shorelines, requires a ship class capable of multitasking without compromising mission effectiveness in complex security environments,” said Joe North, vice president of Littoral Ship Systems for Lockheed Martin. “Our proven multi-mission design offers a formidable combatant with less cost, less risk and lower manning requirements, resulting in a ship that can be efficiently and affordably adapted for a variety of combat and humanitarian missions.”

Ranging in length from 85 to 118 meters and displacing up to 3,500 tons, the Multi-Mission Combat Ship can achieve speeds in excess of 40 knots and provide the power of a larger platform with a smaller crew. The U.S. Navy uses a core crew of 40 sailors on its version of the ship.

As a next generation international combat ship, the ship’s design can be adapted for a variety of missions, including anti-air, mine countermeasures, anti-surface, anti-submarine and electronic warfare. It can also support counterterrorism activities, anti-piracy missions, special operations missions, maritime interdiction and humanitarian relief operations.

The Lockheed Martin-led industry team is building the Freedom-variants for the U.S. Navy on schedule and on budget. Freedom – the nation’s first LCS – was deployed two years ahead of schedule and the team’s second LCS, USS Fort Worth (LCS 3) was commissioned in September. The fifth and seventh ships – Milwaukee (LCS 5) and Detroit (LCS 7) – are under construction. Earlier this year, the Navy funded Little Rock (LCS 9) and Sioux City (LCS 11). Follow-on options call for six more ships by 2015.