The first Littoral Combat Ship
departed from Florida today for its maiden deployment, approximately two years ahead of schedule. The agile 378-foot USS Freedom (LCS 1), designed and built by a team of companies led by Lockheed Martin, is the first of 55 the U.S. Navy plans for a new class of ships designed to operate in coastal waters.
The U.S. Navy is fitting Rolls Royce water jets to its Littoral Combat Ships
(LCS). The new water jets can pump out half a million gallons (1.9 million liters) of high-density seawater per minute, pushing the LCS at over 40 knots (46 mph, 74 km/h) while providing more power for less weight.
Shipbuilder Austal first came to Gizmag’s attention in 2005 with the launch of the world’s largest aluminum vessel
, the 127 meter Benchijigua Express. The company then started building Littoral Combat Ships
(LCS) for the US Navy, based on the same trimaran design. And, now, Austal is launching an even more refined version that improves sea-keeping, passenger comfort and fuel efficiency. This week, Tony Armstrong, Austal’s head of R&D, spoke exclusively to Gizmag about potentially building 20% of the US Navy fleet, how they reduced fuel consumption by a quarter, what sick bags can tell you, and much more.
August 13, 2008 The Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) is an entirely new class of warship designed to enable the U.S. Navy to operate in shallow waters for the many close-to-shore challenges it forsees in the coming years. The LCS is very fast, highly manoeuvrable, fully networked and quickly reconfigurable via 24 hour-installable mission modules to enable it to defeat threats such as mines, quiet diesel submarines and fast attack surface craft. There are two variants of the LCS, one a high-speed semi-planing monohull, the other a trimaran, and the first to begin trails is the monohull version from the Lockheed Martin team. Freedom (LCS 1) is currently undergoing “builder trials” on Lake Michigan, testing the ship's propulsion, communications, navigation and mission systems.
A speedy trimaran with helicopter decks, a stealthy radar profile and a healthy array of arms, the US Navy's newest Littoral Combat Ship is configurable to suit a wide array of combat missions including mine-sweeping, anti-submarine and surface combat support - and it wouldn't look the least bit out of place soaring over the credits of a Star Wars movie.
December 21, 2006 The U.S. Navy has approved funding for the construction of a second General Dynamics trimaran version of Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) featuring an innovative, high-speed trimaran hull. The 127-meter surface combatant LCS is intended to operate in coastal areas of the globe, and will be fast, highly manoeuvrable and geared to supporting mine detection/elimination, anti-submarine warfare and anti-surface warfare, particularly against small surface craft. The LCS's large flight deck sits higher above the water than any U.S. Navy surface combatant and will support near-simultaneous operation of two SH-60 helicopters or multiple unmanned vehicles. The ultra-stable trimaran hull allows for flight operations in high sea conditions. In addition, the deck is suitable for landing the much-larger H-53 helicopters, should that become a future requirement. The Littoral Combat Ship will have one of the largest usable payload volumes per ton of ship displacement of any U.S. Navy surface combatant afloat today, providing the flexibility to carry out one mission while a separate mission module is in reserve.
September 26, 2006 The LCS is finally in the water, and one of the most anticipated combat ships in history has moved a step closer to deployment. There are two types of LCS (the other is the Austal-designed General Dynamics Trimaran
) and the first Lockheed Martin LCS (previous stories here
) was last week christened FREEDOM (LCS-1). The agile 377-foot FREEDOM is the inaugural ship in an entirely new class of U.S. Navy surface warships is designed to help the Navy defeat growing littoral, or close-to-shore, threats and provide access and dominance in coastal water battlespace. Displacing 3,000 metric tons and with a capability of reaching speeds well over 40 knots, FREEDOM will be a fast, maneuverable and networked surface combatant with operational flexibility to execute focused missions, such as mine warfare, anti-submarine warfare, surface warfare and humanitarian relief.
The US Navy has announced the award of a construction contract for the Austal designed General Dynamics Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) project. The US $223 million contract for the first of two planned “Flight 0” vessels follows a similar order
for the single-hulled Lockheed Martin LCS
last December. The two LCS ships will be evaluated and the contracts allow for up to two of each of the two designs to be constructed prior to a decision on how many of each will be ordered, with a fleet of between 50 and 100 LCSs expected to be required over the next 30 years. The General Dynamics LCS is a far different ship to the Lockheed Martin LCS with the secret to its remarkable speed and agility being the aluminium trimaran hull. The LCSs will be the most advanced high speed military craft in the world and are intended to operate in coastal areas globally. As a key part of the US Navy fleet, they will be highly manoeuvrable and configurable to support mine detection / elimination, anti-submarine and surface warfare. The trimaran hull form permits the ship to carry a large capacity of weapons packages with space to land two helicopters.
June 3, 2005 The keel has been laid on the first Littoral Combat Ship (LCS)
, marking a significant milestone in production of the U.S. Navy's new class of surface combatant. Named FREEDOM the first LCS will be delivered to the Navy in late 2006. The Littoral Combat Ship is an innovative combatant designed to counter challenging shallow-water threats in coastal regions, specifically mines, diesel submarines and fast surface craft. A fast, agile, and networked surface combatant, LCS will utilise focused-mission packages that deploy manned and unmanned vehicles to execute a variety of missions.
December 17, 2004 The US Department of Navy has awarded Lockheed Martin a US$188.2 million contract option for detail design and construction of the first Flight 0 Littoral Combat Ship (LCS). The Littoral Combat Ship is an innovative combatant designed to counter challenging shallow-water threats in coastal regions, specifically mines, diesel submarines and fast surface craft. A fast, agile, and networked surface combatant, LCS will utilise focused-mission packages that deploy manned and unmanned vehicles to execute a variety of missions.