Littoral Combat Ship: Ready for What’s Next
As U.S. Navy and Defense Department leadership roll out plans for the future small surface combatant, the Lockheed Martin-led industry team continues to deliver the Freedom-variant Littoral Combat Ships and stand ready to support Navy-directed modifications for its future fleets.
“With six ships under serial production at Marinette Marine Corporation, we’re taking advantage of the nearly $100 million industry investment that’s improved our efficiency and manufacturing processes,” said Joe North, Lockheed Martin vice president of Littoral Ships & Systems. “Our ability to upgrade the current LCS quickly and affordably leverages the existing design, investment and manufacturing processes, enabling us to introduce new capabilities as early as 2016.”
Several options being reviewed by the Navy would allow the ship to conduct multiple missions simultaneously as opposed to the current LCS, which is a focused mission ship. In May 2014, Lockheed Martin offered to the Navy several options to consider for the future ship, all of which increase the survivability and lethality of LCS, which allows the Navy to use the ships in select combat missions, giving the Navy even more flexibility in a cost-effective manner.
In addition to the six ships under construction, the first and second Freedom variant LCSs – USS Freedom and USS Fort Worth – are actively serving in the U.S. Navy’s fleet. USS Freedom conducted a successful deployment to Southeast Asia in 2013 and is currently in her homeport in San Diego, Calif., while USS Fort Worth is actively deployed until 2016. The Navy has reported that the ship is serving in the U.S. 7th Fleet to strengthen international relationships, visit more ports, engage in multi-regional naval exercises, and further LCS capabilities using both manned and unmanned assets.
January 6, 2015