Littoral Combat Ship Packs a Punch

Navy completes first stage of developmental testing of LCS’s surface combat warfare mission package

 

LCS-Gun-Firing_460 The U.S. Navy recently completed the first stage of developmental testing for the LCS’s surface combat warfare mission package. Key components of the system were demonstrated aboard the USS Freedom – the nation’s first LCS.

Legendary heavyweight boxing champion Muhammad Ali could “float like a butterfly, sting like a bee.”

So can the Littoral Combat Ship (LCS).

The U.S. Navy completed the first stage of developmental testing for the LCS’s surface combat warfare mission package on June 24 following the demonstration of key components aboard the USS Freedom – the nation’s first LCS built by a Lockheed Martin led team.

"The capabilities included in the surface warfare mission package will project power and presence in key overseas environments," said Rear Adm. James Murdoch, the LCS program executive officer. "An LCS outfitted with these capabilities, teamed with the ship's inherent speed and maneuverability, will provide a capability in a single platform never before available to the U.S. Navy."

The LCS warfare mission package includes the MK 46 gun weapon system and 11-meter rigid hull inflatable boats. It also included an MH-60R helicopter – on which Lockheed Martin integrates the electronics and other systems onto a Sikorsky airframe – equipped with a Hellfire missile simulator and .50-caliber and 7.62mm machine guns. The package protects the fleet from small boats and other asymmetrical threats and supports missions against suspected terrorists and pirates.

"Although data collected during testing remains under analysis, the systems accomplished each of the challenging test scenarios," said Capt. John Ailes, LCS Mission Module Integration program manager. "The LCS program continues to mature and demonstrate that this ground-breaking concept of operations works and works well."

Deployed two years early in 2010, Freedom has sailed more than 58,000 nautical miles, participating in RIMPAC 2010 and drug interdiction missions with the Coast Guard in the Caribbean.

The Lockheed Martin team, which includes shipbuilder Marinette Marine, naval architect Gibbs & Cox and various domestic and international suppliers, delivered its second LCS, the Fort Worth, to the Navy in June on budget and two months ahead of schedule.

The team’s next two Freedom variant LCSs – the Milwaukee (LCS 5) and Detroit (LCS 7) – are currently under construction. A contract for the Little Rock (LCS 9) and Sioux City (LCS 11) was awarded in March.

Posted on June 29, 2012



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