The Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) is a key element of the Navy's plan to address asymmetric threats. Intended to operate in coastal areas of the globe, the ship will be fast, highly maneuverable and geared to supporting mine detection/elimination, anti-submarine warfare and surface warfare, particularly against small surface craft.
The Independence class of littoral combat ships (LCS) is General Dynamics and Austal's design proposal to the US Navy's requirement for the LCS class ships. The LCS concept emphasizes speed and modularity thanks to its flexible mission module spaces. According to US Navy, the LCS is "envisioned to be a networked, agile, stealthy surface combatant capable of defeating anti-access and asymmetric threats in the littorals."
The hull design evolved from a project at Austal to design a 40 knot cruise ship. That hull design evolved into the high-speed trimaran ferry Benchijigua Express. The principal requirements of that project were speed, stability and passenger comfort and Austal's team determined that the trimaran hull form offered significant passenger comfort and stability advantages over both catamaran and monohull designs. General Dynamics and Austal's Littoral Combat Ship trimaran hull vastly improves performance on a wide range of sea conditions enabling extended warfighting availability to the U.S. Navy. The slender center hull and two smaller side hulls gives the smaller ship the operational characteristics of a larger craft providing greater stability in rough seas and combat conditions.
Further improving performance, the aluminum structure and selective use of steel provides huge advantages of stability and buoyancy, improved damage protection, reduced magnetic signature (quieter operations) and significant increases in the ship's usable interior space compared to a monohull design.
The General Dynamics LCS has the endurance to travel 4,300 miles and 18 knots.
The Independence class LCS design has the performance to bring more warfighting capability to the mission front. Modular launch systems and an extended flight deck provide maximum flexibility and enable rapid deployment of UAV, sensors and mission personnel.
The LCS-2 design solution has the speed and capacity to traverse the changing seas of today's asymmetric threats:
· Wider operation envelope (sea keeping, speed, endurance, stability)
· Concurrent helicopter and UAV operations
· Quick mission module change
· Capacity for any two mission packages simultaneously
· Three weapon zones
The head of class, USS Independence (LCS-2) was laid down in January 2006 and commissioned four years later. Second ship of the Freedom class, USS Coronado (LCS-4) was laid down in December 2009. In total, ten Independence class LCS are to be built until 2015.
Joseph on behalf of XAXIOUS ®™ Blog Spot