The U.S. Navy accepted delivery of two Littoral Combat Ships (LCSs), the future USS Sioux City (LCS-11) and USS Wichita (LCS-13), during a ceremony at the Fincantieri Marinette Marine shipyard on August 22.
Sioux City and Wichita, respectively, are the 14th and 15th Littoral Combat Ships (LCSs) to be delivered to the U.S. Navy and the sixth and seventh of the Freedom variant to join the fleet. These deliveries mark the official transfer of the ships from the shipbuilder, part of a Lockheed Martin-led team, to the U.S. Navy. It is the final milestone prior to commissioning. Both ships will be commissioned later this year, USS Sioux City (LCS-11) in Annapolis, Maryland, and USS Wichita (LCS-13) in Jacksonville, Florida.
Regarding the LCS deliveries, Captain Mike Taylor, LCS program manager, said, «The future USS Sioux City (LCS-11) is a remarkable ship which will bring tremendous capability to the Fleet. I am excited to join with her crew and celebrate her upcoming commissioning at the home of the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis».
«Today also marks a significant milestone in the life of the future USS Wichita (LCS-13), an exceptional ship which will conduct operations around the globe», he said. «I look forward to seeing Wichita join her sister ships this winter».
Captain Shawn Johnston, commander, LCS Squadron Two, welcomed the ships to the fleet, saying, «The future USS Sioux City (LCS-11) is a welcome addition to the East Coast Surface Warfare Division. Both her Blue and Gold crews are ready to put this ship though her paces and prepare the ship to deploy».
«The future USS Wichita (LCS-13) is the first East Coast Mine Warfare Division ship», he said. «She will have a chance to test some of the latest and greatest mine warfare systems after she completes her remaining combat systems trials».
Several additional Freedom variant ships are under construction at Fincantieri Marinette Marine. The future USS Billings (LCS-15) is preparing for trials in spring 2019. The future USS Indianapolis (LCS-17) was christened/launched in April. The future USS St. Louis (LCS-19) is scheduled for christening and launch in the fall. The future USS Minneapolis-Saint Paul (LCS-21) is preparing for launch and christening in spring of 2019, while the future USS Cooperstown (LCS-23)’s keel was laid earlier this month and is undergoing construction in the shipyard’s erection bays. The future USS Marinette (LCS-25) started fabrication in February, while the future USS Nantucket (LCS-27) is scheduled to begin fabrication in the fall.
LCS is a modular, reconfigurable ship designed to meet validated fleet requirements for surface warfare, anti-submarine warfare and mine countermeasures missions in the littoral region. An interchangeable mission package is embarked on each LCS and provides the primary mission systems in one of these warfare areas. Using an open architecture design, modular weapons, sensor systems and a variety of manned and unmanned vehicles to gain, sustain and exploit littoral maritime supremacy, LCS provides U.S. joint force access to critical theaters.
The LCS class consists of the Freedom variant and Independence variant, designed and built by two industry teams. The Freedom variant team is led by Lockheed Martin (for the odd-numbered hulls, e.g., LCS-1). The Independence variant team is led by Austal USA (for LCS-6 and follow-on even-numbered hulls). Twenty-nine LCSs have been awarded to date, with 15 delivered to the U.S. Navy, 11 in various stages of construction and three in pre-production states.
Program Executive Office for Unmanned and Small Combatants is responsible for delivering and sustaining littoral mission capabilities to the fleet. Delivering high-quality warfighting assets while balancing affordability and capability is key to supporting the nation’s maritime strategy.
Ship Design Specifications
|Hull||Advanced semiplaning steel monohull|
|Length Overall||389 feet/118.6 m|
|Beam Overall||57 feet/17.5 m|
|Draft||13.5 feet/4.1 m|
|Full Load Displacement||Approximately 3,200 metric tons|
|Top Speed||Greater than 40 knots/46 mph/74 km/h|
|Range at top speed||1,000 NM/1,151 miles/1,852 km|
|Range at cruise speed||4,000 NM/4,603 miles/7,408 km|
|Watercraft Launch and Recovery||Up to Sea State 4|
|Aircraft Launch and Recovery||Up to Sea State 5|
|Propulsion||Combined diesel and gas turbine with steerable water jet propulsion|
|Power||85 MW/113,600 horsepower|
|Hangar Space||Two MH-60 Romeo Helicopters|
|One MH-60 Romeo Helicopter and three Vertical Take-off and Land Tactical Unmanned Air Vehicles (VTUAVs)|
|Core Crew||Less than 50|
|Accommodations for 75 sailors provide higher sailor quality of life than current fleet|
|Integrated Bridge System||Fully digital nautical charts are interfaced to ship sensors to support safe ship operation|
|Core Self-Defense Suite||Includes 3D air search radar|
|Electro-Optical/Infrared (EO/IR) gunfire control system|
|Rolling-Airframe Missile Launching System|
|57-mm Main Gun|
|Mine, Torpedo Detection|
|Decoy Launching System|
|USS Freedom (LCS-1)||06-02-2005||09-23-2006||11-08-2008||San Diego, California|
|USS Fort Worth (LCS-3)||07-11-2009||12-07-2010||09-22-2012||San Diego, California|
|USS Milwaukee (LCS-5)||10-27-2011||12-18-2013||11-21-2015||San Diego, California|
|USS Detroit (LCS-7)||08-11-2012||10-18-2014||10-22-2016||San Diego, California|
|USS Little Rock (LCS-9)||06-27-2013||07-18-2015||12-16-2017||San Diego, California|
|USS Sioux City (LCS-11)||02-19-2014||01-30-2016|
|USS Wichita (LCS-13)||02-09-2015||09-17-2016|
|USS Billings (LCS-15)||11-02-2015||07-01-2017|
|USS Indianapolis (LCS-17)||07-18-2016||04-18-2018|
|USS St. Louis (LCS-19)||05-17-2017|
|USS Minneapolis/St. Paul (LCS-21)||02-22-2018|
|USS Cooperstown (LCS-23)||08-14-2018|
|USS Marinette LCS-25|
|USS Nantucket (LCS-27)|