Three Ways our Littoral Combat Ships (LCS) are Making Waves on Deployment

Lockheed Martin’s Freedom-variant Littoral Combat Ships (LCS) are critical tools helping the U.S. Navy achieve its missions. Designed for operations in the littorals – or areas close to a coast – the resilient and flexible warships are designed from the bottom up to affordably take on new capabilities with speed, strength and versatility. To date, four Freedom-variant LCS have deployed to support U.S. Navy presence and peacekeeping missions. In the latest of these deployments, USS Little Rock (LCS 9), deployed in early 2020 to support operations in the U.S. Southern Command Area of Responsibility.

In honor of the latest LCS milestone, the christening of LCS 23 – the future USS Cooperstown – we’re highlighting three ways the Freedom-variant LCS class is making waves on deployment.

USS Little Rock supports multinational Operation Martillo

USS Little Rock deployed in early 2020 to support the Martillo campaign – a multinational effort targeting illicit trafficking routes in coastal waters along Central America.
LCS 9 USS Little Rock
Sailors heave in line during a sea and anchor evolution aboard the Freedom-variant littoral combat ship USS Little Rock (LCS 9). U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Nathan T. Beard 

USS Detroit successfully completes joint exercise with USS Gridley

USS Detroit (LCS 7) also deployed to support Operation Martillo.

During deployment, USS Detroit’s crew completed a joint exercise of division tactics and gunnery exercises with Arleigh Burke-class destroyer USS Gridley.

Division tactics are a series of tactical shipboard movements directed by a designated junior officer, acting in the position of commanding officer. This gives junior officers experience handling their own ships and working closely with other vessels.

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USS Detroit LCS 7 (bottom) with USS Gridley. U.S. Navy photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Devin Bowser

USS Detroit sinks navigation hazard

While on deployment, USS Detroit had a chance to prove LCS packs a punch when it sunk an abandoned vessel posing a hazard to navigation in the western Atlantic.

The missiles onboard LCS are part of a surface warfare capability package that can be added to LCS. With 40% reconfigurable hull space, LCS can defeat today’s threats and evolve to meet future threats. 

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USS Detroit (LCS 7) sinks a vessel as a hazard to navigation. U.S. Navy photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Devin Bowser

In total, the Freedom-variant LCS fleet has sailed more than 500,000 nautical miles – a number that will continue to rise with future deployments.

The future USS Cooperstown will begin sea trials later this year. See highlights from its recent christening and launch below.