All posts by Dmitry Shulgin

RoMan

Army researchers recently tested ground robots performing military-style exercises, much like Soldier counterparts, at a robotics testing site in Pennsylvania recently as part of a 10-year research project designed to push the research boundaries in robotics and autonomy.

RoMan, short for Robotic Manipulator, is a tracked robot with arms and hands – necessary appendages to remove heavy objects and other road debris from military vehicles’ paths (Photo by David McNally)

RoMan, short for Robotic Manipulator, is a tracked robot that is easily recognized by its robotic arms and hands – necessary appendages to remove heavy objects and other road debris from military vehicles’ paths. What’s harder to detect is the amount of effort that went into programming the robot to manipulate complex environments.

The exercise was one of several recent integration events involving a decade of research led by scientists and engineers at the U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command’s (CCDC) Army Research Laboratory who teamed with counterparts from the NASA/Jet Propulsion Laboratory, University of Washington, University of Pennsylvania, Carnegie Mellon University and General Dynamics Land Systems.

As part of ARL’s Robotics Collaborative Technology Alliance (RCTA), the work focused on state-of-the-art basic and applied research related to ground robotics technologies with an overarching goal of developing autonomy in support of manned-unmanned teaming. Research within the RCTA program serves as foundational research in support of future combat ground vehicles.

The recent robot exercise was the culmination of research to develop a robot that reasons about unknown objects and their physical properties, and decides how to best interact with different objects to achieve a specific task.

«Given a task like ‘clear a path’, the robot needs to identify potentially relevant objects, figure out how objects can be grasped by determining where and with what hand shape, and decide what type of interaction to use, whether that’s lifting, moving, pushing or pulling to achieve its task», said CCDC ARL’s Doctor Chad Kessens, Robotic Manipulation researcher.

During the recent exercise, RoMan successfully completed such as multi-object debris clearing, dragging a heavy object (e.g., tree limb), and opening a container to remove a bag.

Kessens said Soldier teammates are able to give verbal commands to the robot using natural human language in a scenario.

«Planning and learning and their integration cut across all these problems. The ability of the robot to improve its performance over time and to adapt to new scenarios by building models on-the-fly while incorporating the power of model-based reasoning will be important to achieving the kinds of unstructured tasks we want to be able to do without putting Soldiers in harm’s way», Kessens said.

This work, and other research, will be showcased October 17 at the RCTA’s integration capstone event at Carnegie Mellon University’s National Robotics Engineering Center in Pittsburgh.

The CCDC Army Research Laboratory (ARL) is an element of the U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command. As the Army’s corporate research laboratory, ARL discovers, innovates and transitions science and technology to ensure dominant strategic land power. Through collaboration across the command’s core technical competencies, CCDC leads in the discovery, development and delivery of the technology-based capabilities required to make Soldiers more lethal to win our Nation’s wars and come home safely. CCDC is a major subordinate command of the U.S. Army Futures Command.

Space Launch System

NASA and Boeing have initiated a contract for the production of 10 Space Launch System core stages and up to eight Exploration Upper Stages to support the third through the twelfth Artemis missions.

Boeing is building the massive 212-foot/64.6-meter Space Launch System (SLS) core stage for NASA’s Artemis I mission. SLS is the only rocket that can carry the Orion spacecraft and necessary cargo beyond Earth orbit in a single mission, making it a critical capability for NASA’s deep-space Artemis program (NASA photo)

Up to 10 additional core stages may be ordered under the contract, leveraging active labor, materials, and facility resources and supply chain efficiencies for production savings.

SLS is NASA’s deep space exploration rocket that will launch astronauts in the 27-metric ton Orion crew vehicle, plus cargo, from Earth to the moon and eventually to Mars. Boeing is the prime contractor for the rocket’s core stage, avionics, and variations of the upper stage. The rocket is designed to be evolvable for missions beyond the moon.

«We greatly appreciate the confidence NASA has placed in Boeing to deliver this deep space rocket and their endorsement of our team’s approach to meeting this unprecedented technological and manufacturing challenge in support of NASA’s Artemis program», said Jim Chilton, senior vice president of Boeing’s Space and Launch division.

«Together with a nationwide network of engaged and innovative suppliers we will deliver the first core stage to NASA this year for Artemis I», Chilton added. «This team is already implementing lessons learned and innovative practices from the first build to produce a second core stage more efficiently than the first. We are committed to continuous improvement as they execute on this new contract».

Boeing designed, developed, tested and built the first SLS core stage under the original NASA Stages contract, including refurbishing the company’s manufacturing area at the Michoud Assembly Facility (MAF) in New Orleans, building test versions of the SLS structures, and designing more efficient, modern tooling, all while abiding by stringent safety and quality standards for human spaceflight. The second core stage is simultaneously in production at MAF.

Boeing last year delivered the first upper stage, the Interim Cryogenic Propulsion System, built by United Launch Alliance in Decatur, Alabama, for the Block 1 version of the evolvable vehicle. The more powerful Exploration Upper Stage design for the Block 1B version is in development, while the MAF facility is being prepared for that build.

SLS is the only rocket that can carry the Orion, and necessary cargo, beyond Earth orbit in a single mission, making it a critical capability for NASA’s deep-space Artemis program.

«Boeing has implemented advanced manufacturing technologies for design, test, and production of the core stages, which will make both core stage production and upper stage development faster, more efficient, and safer», said John Shannon, Boeing vice president and Space Launch System program manager. «The evolvable nature of the rocket will allow us to onboard new advances in materials and production technologies as we move forward to the moon and on to Mars».

Command and Control

Oshkosh Defense, LLC, an Oshkosh Corporation company, displayed three Joint Light Tactical Vehicles (JLTV) and for the first time ever, a Light Combat Tactical All-Terrain Vehicle Command and Control (L-ATV C2), at the Association of the United States Army (AUSA) National Conference. The vehicles were on display at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center, Washington, D.C., from October 14 to October 16, 2019.

The L-ATV C2 houses a robust communications suite, giving our armed forces the unique and highly-desirable advantage of staying well-connected while on-the-move

«The JLTV fleet provides our armed forces a critical combination of protection and extreme off-road mobility to ensure reliable maneuverability within combat formations», said George Mansfield, Vice President and General Manager of Joint Programs for Oshkosh Defense. «The L-ATV C2 provides the same level of protection and extreme off-road mobility as our already fielded JLTV platform. In addition, the L-ATV C2 houses a robust communications suite, giving our armed forces the unique and highly-desirable advantage of staying well-connected while on the move».

Oshkosh Defense partnered with L3Harris Technologies to demonstrate a communications suite capability, representing just one of the ways a mobile command center can be configured on the back of a highly mobile light tactical wheeled vehicle. The L-ATV C2 has ample available power and configuration flexibility to adjust and modify its interior – depending on the needs of the commander and the crew. «The L-ATV C2 allows commanders to quickly maneuver on the battlefield, directing dismounted units using assured communications provided by the integrated C4 equipment», concluded Mansfield. Further, the modular nature of the interior can accommodate any number of workstations and/or communications equipment rack locations to provide optional layouts that work for personalized missions and the crew carrying them out.

The L-ATV C2 will also feature a Black Hornet Vehicle Reconnaissance System (VRS) made by FLIR. The Black Hornet equips armored or mechanized vehicles with an immediate, organic, and self-contained surveillance and reconnaissance system.

Oshkosh will also display a 2-door Utility JLTV in their booth, outfitted with the Uvision Hero-120 Tactical System. Ideal for anti-tank missions or other strategic objectives, the Hero-120 is the largest of Univision’s short-range systems. It carries a 3.5 kg/7.7 lbs. warhead and can ensure an extended flight time of 60 minutes.

Elbit Systems will display a 2-door Utility JLTV equipped with a SPEAR in their booth. Elbit’s SPEAR is a fully autonomous, vehicle-mounted 120-mm soft recoil mortar system for high-mobility platforms.

An additional 4-door General Purpose JLTV will be on display at AUSA in Kongsberg’s booth. This JLTV will be equipped with the Javelin Integration Kit (JIK) and an LW30 Remote Weapon Station (RWS).

LTAMDS radar

Raytheon Company has been selected to provide the U.S. Army with their next generation, 360-degree capable radar – the Lower Tier Air and Missile Defense Sensor (LTAMDS). Raytheon will receive more than $384 million to deliver six production representative units of the advanced LTAMDS radar under an Other Transactional Authority U.S. Army agreement. LTAMDS is a new radar that will ultimately replace the current U.S. Army’s Patriot radars. It will operate on the Army’s Integrated Air and Missile Defense (IAMD) network.

The U.S. Army’s new LTAMDS radar design, unveiled in a Raytheon mock-up

«Our clean-sheet approach to LTAMDS reinforces Raytheon’s position as the world’s premier air and missile defense radar capability provider», said Ralph Acaba, President of Raytheon Integrated Defense Systems. «Patriot is the world’s leading, combat-proven air and missile defense system, and 17 nations have procured 240 radars from Raytheon. With the U.S. Army’s approval, these Patriot partners will have the opportunity to add Active Electronic Scanned Array, 360-degree capability to their inventory, extending the life of their systems for many decades».

Raytheon’s winning LTAMDS solution is a 360-degree, Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) radar powered by Raytheon-manufactured Gallium Nitride (GaN), a substance that strengthens the radar signal and enhances its sensitivity. Over the past two decades, Raytheon has invested significantly in AESA GaN technology and advanced manufacturing capability, positioning the company as the global leader in advanced GaN technology and product development.

«For decades, we have invested in radar technology to address our customer’s most pressing needs. As a result, we’ve developed the ability and capacity to provide the Army an advanced capability on an accelerated timeline», said Tom Laliberty, vice president of Integrated Air and Missile Defense for Raytheon Integrated Defense Systems. «Our in-house advanced manufacturing capability and strong supplier network will enable us to meet the Army’s urgent material release requirement».

Raytheon assembled a team of suppliers who played a strategic role in developing Raytheon’s LTAMDS solution. They are:

  • Crane Aerospace & Electronics;
  • Cummings Aerospace;
  • IERUS Technologies;
  • Kord Technologies;
  • Mercury Systems;
  • nLogic.

Unmanned Vehicle

BAE Systems debuted its Robotic Technology Demonstrator (RTD) representing leap-ahead advancements for unmanned combat vehicles today at the Association of the United States Army’s (AUSA) Annual Meeting & Exposition.

BAE Systems unveils Robotic Technology Demonstrator Vehicle at AUSA

The RTD prototype showcases advanced capabilities and is adaptable for future weapon systems, sensors and other payloads. The RTD features autonomous mobility to help keep soldiers out of harm’s way, a Hybrid Electric Drive for fuel efficiency, a 30-mm remote weapons station, a suite of sensors for 360-degree situational awareness and surveillance, composite rubber track system, and a small legged robot for reconnaissance missions among other key new technologies. The demonstrator reflects BAE Systems’ commitment to investing in the future of Army warfighting capabilities and the soldier.

«The Robotic Technology Demonstrator is designed as a ‘rolling lab’ to integrate emerging autonomy and lethality technologies for testing. The electrical infrastructure, advanced optics, and software that have been integrated onto this highly reliable and robust chassis provides the foundation for truly game-changing battlefield capability», said James Miller, director for business development at BAE Systems Combat Vehicles. «BAE Systems built this demonstrator to help us determine the best way to mitigate risk for our soldiers while increasing their lethality».

The RTD technologies include sensors with true 360-degree situational awareness to include long-wave infrared imaging, signal processing and video distribution. It also includes a tethered unmanned aerial system to support situational awareness and reconnaissance.

The RTD prototype leverages decades of BAE Systems expertise in the design and development of combat vehicles, as well as advanced electronic systems. BAE Systems is a world leader in tracked and wheeled combat vehicles, including Infantry Fighting Vehicles, self-propelled howitzers, personnel carriers, and amphibious vehicles.

Acceptance Trials

The U.S. Navy’s newest Expeditionary Sea Base (ESB), Miguel Keith (ESB-5) successfully completed Acceptance Trials on October 11.

USNS Miguel Keith (T-ESB-5) completes acceptance trials

The trials were conducted off the coast of southern California after departure from the General Dynamics National Steel and Shipbuilding Co. (GD-NASSCO) shipyard in San Diego. During the week of trials, the U.S. Navy’s Board of Inspection and Survey conducted comprehensive tests to demonstrate and evaluate the performance of all of the ship’s major systems.

«Our ESBs are bringing tremendous operational capability to our combatant commanders. These ships are supporting a wide variety of mission sets in the 5th and 6th Fleet and more recently have demonstrated their ability to integrate mine countermeasure mission packages», said Captain Scot Searles, Strategic Sealift and Theater Sealift program manager, Program Executive Office Ships. «These sea trials demonstrated the high quality of this ship and its readiness to join the fight».

ESBs are highly flexible, modular platforms that are optimized to support a variety of maritime based missions including Special Operations Force and Airborne Mine Counter Measures support operations in addition to humanitarian support and sustainment of traditional military missions.

ESBs include a four-spot flight deck and hangar and a versatile mission deck and are designed around four core capabilities: aviation facilities, berthing, equipment staging support, and command and control assets. ESBs will operate as the component commander requires providing the U.S. Navy fleet with a critical access infrastructure that supports the flexible deployment of forces and supplies.

USNS Miguel Keith (T-ESB-5) is the third platform of the ESB variant, and is scheduled to deliver in early fiscal 2020. GD-NASSCO is also under contract for detail design and construction of ESB-6 and ESB-7, with an option for ESB-8.

As one of the Defense Department’s largest acquisition organizations, PEO Ships is responsible for executing the development and procurement of all destroyers, amphibious ships, special mission and support ships, and boats and craft.

Whiskey

Sikorsky, a Lockheed Martin company, showcased the next generation Combat Rescue Helicopter (CRH) during a ceremony at its Development Flight Center in West Palm Beach, Florida, this week.

The Sikorsky HH-60W helicopter at the Development Flight Center in West Palm Beach, Florida (Photo courtesy Sikorsky, a Lockheed Martin company)

During the event, United States Air Force General James M. Holmes, Commander, Air Combat Command, Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Virginia (91) described the HH-60W helicopter as critical took for the warfighter.

«I want to say thanks to everyone from Sikorsky for your dedication to your craft, for consistently living up to your mission statement of pioneering flight solutions that bring people home everywhere every time. And that partnership is incredibly valuable to us and the guys on the ground», General Holmes said. «We’re proud to work with you to deliver the most intuitive, precise, technologically advanced systems to our airmen».

Other dignitaries attending the event included Doctor Will Roper, Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics and Representative Brian Mast (R-FL) from Florida’s 18th District.

 

Prepared for Production

The achievement of the Milestone C production decision on September 24 launched the contract award known as Low Rate Initial Production for Sikorsky to build 10 CRH helicopters.

The U.S. Air Force program of record calls for 113 helicopters to replace the HH-60G PAVE HAWK, which perform critical combat search and rescue and personnel recovery operations for all U.S. military services.

«The Combat Rescue Helicopter is the new era in Air Force aviation and a pivotal milestone that ties to our company’s legacy of bringing people home», said Sikorsky President Dan Schultz. «Sikorsky employees and our nationwide supply chain are ready to begin producing, delivering and supporting this all-new aircraft for the warfighter».

The HH-60W Combat Rescue Helicopter is significantly more capable and reliable than its predecessor, the HH-60G.The aircraft hosts a new fuel system that nearly doubles the capacity of the internal tank on a UH-60M BLACK HAWK, giving the Air Force crew extended range and more capability to rescue those injured in the battle space. The HH-60W specification drives more capable defensive systems, vulnerability reduction, hover performance, electrical capacity, avionics, cooling, weapons, cyber-security, environmental and net-centric requirements than currently held by the HH-60G.

«We send in brave men and women who are going to find a way to get the job done», Doctor Roper said. «But they’ll tell you about flying in and not being certain that they could land safely or putting the broad side of their vehicle between a downed pilot and gunfire. When you hear those stories, you realize that we put heroes on these vehicles. We pick up heroes in these vehicles and they deserve every technology advantage we can give them».

 

Training Systems

On Sept. 19, four pilots and four special mission aviators from the U.S. Air Force graduated from the Sikorsky Training Academy’s S-70i Transition Course. As previously qualified HH-60G Pave Hawk crews, the students learned about the unique systems and operating capabilities of the Sikorsky S-70i. During the four-week course, they each spent seven hours using a procedural trainer, 10 hours in a full-motion flight simulator and 10 hours of flight time in the S-70i aircraft.

To ensure mission readiness, Lockheed Martin will deliver a custom-tailored training system consisting of flight simulators, procedural and maintenance trainers and accompanying courseware.

In 2020, Lockheed Martin will train 200 U.S. Air Force and maintenance aircrew students at our Sikorsky Training Academy in Stuart, Fla. utilizing training systems and three newly built HH-60W aircraft. This will provide flight and maintenance training to initial cadre and units allowing the U.S. Air Force to remain vigilant while simultaneously fielding and employing the added capabilities of the HH-60W aircraft.

RAIDER X

October 14, 2019, Sikorsky, a Lockheed Martin company, introduced RAIDER X, its concept for an agile, lethal and survivable compound coaxial helicopter, specifically designed for securing vertical lift dominance against evolving peer and near-peer threats on the future battlefield. Through the U.S. Army’s Future Attack Reconnaissance Aircraft (FARA) program, RAIDER X is the out-front platform in the Service’s revolutionary approach for rapid development and delivery of game changing technology and warfighter capabilities, equipped for the most demanding and contested environments. RAIDER X enables the reach, protection and lethality required to remain victorious in future conflicts.

Sikorsky introduced RAIDER X as its entry to the U.S. Army’s Future Attack Reconnaissance Aircraft (FARA) prototype competition. RAIDER X draws on Lockheed Martin’s broad expertise in developing innovative systems using the latest digital design and manufacturing techniques (Image courtesy, Sikorsky a Lockheed Martin company)

«RAIDER X converges everything we’ve learned in years of developing, testing and refining X2 Technology and delivers warfighters a dominant, survivable and intelligent system that will excel in tomorrow’s battlespace where aviation overmatch is critical», said Frank St. John, executive vice president of Lockheed Martin Rotary and Mission Systems. «The X2 Technology family of aircraft is a low-risk solution and is scalable based on our customers’ requirements».

RAIDER X draws on Lockheed Martin’s broad expertise in developing innovative systems using the latest digital design and manufacturing techniques. Sikorsky’s RAIDER X prototype offers:

  • Exceptional Performance: The X2 rigid rotor provides increased performance including; highly responsive maneuverability, enhanced low-speed hover, off-axis hover, and level acceleration and braking. These attributes make us unbeatable at the X.
  • Agile, Digital Design: State-of-the-art digital design and manufacturing is already in use on other Lockheed Martin and Sikorsky production programs such as CH-53K, CH-148 and F-35, and will enable the Army to not only lower the acquisition cost, but enable rapid, affordable upgrades to stay ahead of the evolving threat.
  • Adaptability: Modern Open Systems Architecture (MOSA)-based avionics and mission systems, offering «plug-and-play» options for computing, sensors, survivability and weapons, benefiting lethality and survivability, operational mission tailoring and competitive acquisitions.
  • Sustainable/Maintenance: Designed to decrease aircraft operating costs by utilizing new technologies to shift from routine maintenance and inspections to self-monitoring and condition-based maintenance, which will increase aircraft availability, reduce sustainment footprint forward and enable flexible maintenance operating periods.
  • Growth/Mission Flexibility: Focused on the future and ever evolving threat capabilities, X2 compound coaxial technology provides unmatched potential and growth margin for increased speed, combat radius and payload. This potential and growth margin further enables operational mission flexibility which includes a broader range of aircraft configurations and loadouts to accommodate specific mission requirements.

The nationwide supply team that Sikorsky has comprised to build RAIDER X will join company leaders today to introduce RAIDER X during the annual conference of the Association of the United States Army in Washington, D.C.

«RAIDER X is the culmination of decades of development, and a testament to our innovation and passion for solving our customers’ needs», said Sikorsky President Dan Schultz. «By leveraging the strength of the entire Lockheed Martin Corporation, we will deliver the only solution that gives the U.S. Army the superiority needed to meet its mission requirements».

 

Proven X2 Technology: Scalable, Sustainable, Affordable

With RAIDER X, Sikorsky introduces the latest design in its X2 family of aircraft. To date, X2 aircraft have achieved/demonstrated:

  • Speeds in excess of 250 knots/288 mph/463 km/h;
  • High altitude operations in excess of 9,000 feet/2,743 m;
  • Low-speed and high-speed maneuver envelopes out to 60+ degrees angle of bank;
  • ADS-33B (Aeronautical Design Standard) Level 1 handling qualities with multiple pilots;
  • Flight controls optimization and vibration mitigation.

«The power of X2 is game changing. It combines the best elements of low-speed helicopter performance with the cruise performance of an airplane», said Sikorsky experimental test pilot Bill Fell, a retired Army pilot who has flown nearly every RAIDER test flight. «Every flight we take in our S-97 RAIDER today reduces risk and optimizes our FARA prototype, RAIDER X».

The development of X2 Technology and the RAIDER program has been funded entirely by significant investments by Sikorsky, Lockheed Martin and industry partners.

A history of reliability and safety. A legacy of industry-leading research and technological achievement. Now meet the future of vertical lift. RAIDER X delivers speed, precision and maneuverability to achieve its mission…at the X

Fighting Vehicle

The U.S. Army has awarded BAE Systems a contract modification worth up to $269 million for continued production of the Bradley Fighting Vehicle (BFV).

U.S. Army extends contract for Bradley Fighting Vehicle upgrades

The award for an additional 168 upgraded Bradley A4 Infantry Fighting Vehicles is part of the Army’s combat vehicle modernization strategy and helps ensure force readiness of the Armored Brigade Combat Teams (ABCT).

The Bradley A4 is equipped with an enhanced powertrain that maximizes mobility and increases engine horsepower, providing rapid movement in reaction to combat or other adverse situations. Wide angle Driver’s Vision Enhancer, improved Force XXI Battle Command Bridge and Below (FBCB2) software integration improves friendly and enemy vehicle identification, enhancing situational awareness. The addition of a High Speed Slip Ring, greater network connectivity and Smart Displays that simultaneously display classified and unclassified information also improve situational awareness.

«The Bradley is one of the most critical vehicles in the Army’s ABCT today because it allows the Army to transport troops to the fight, and provide covering fire to suppress enemy vehicles and troops», said Scott Davis, vice president of combat vehicle programs for BAE Systems. «Upgrading to the A4 configuration provides soldiers with more power to increase their speed and ability to integrate enhanced technology to ensure they maintain the advantage on the battlefield».

Previously awarded funding for initial production of 164 Bradley A4 vehicles allowed BAE Systems to begin production. The award of this option brings the total production funding to $578 million. It includes upgrades and associated spares of two Bradley variants: the M2A4 Infantry Fighting Vehicle and the M7A4 Fire Support Team Vehicle.

BAE Systems is a premiere supplier of combat vehicles to the U.S. military and international customers. The company has an extensive manufacturing network across the United States and continues to invest in it. Work on the program will take place at Red River Army Depot in Texarkana, Texas, and BAE Systems’ facilities in Aiken, South Carolina; Anniston, Alabama; Minneapolis, Minnesota; San Jose, California; Sterling Heights, Michigan; and York, Pennsylvania.

Nantucket

Lockheed Martin and Fincantieri Marinette Marine marked the beginning of construction on Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) 27, the future USS Nantucket, with a ceremony in Marinette. As part of a ship-building tradition dating back centuries, a shipyard worker welded the initials of Polly Spencer, USS Nantucket (LCS-27) ship sponsor and wife of U.S. Secretary of the Navy Richard Spencer, into the ship’s keel plate. This plate will be affixed to the ship and travel with Nantucket throughout its commissioned life.

A welder authenticates the keel of LCS-27, the future USS Nantucket, by welding the initials of ship sponsor Polly Spencer

«The USS Nantucket will confront many complex challenges», said Richard V. Spencer, the U.S. Secretary of the Navy. «It will confront humanitarian relief all the way to great power competition, drawing on the strength of every weld, every rivet applied by the great people here».

Unique among combat ships, the focused-mission LCS is designed to support mine countermeasures, anti-submarine and surface warfare missions today and is easily adapted to serve future and evolving missions tomorrow. The Freedom-variant LCS is:

  • Flexible – Forty percent of the hull is easily reconfigurable, able to integrate Longbow Hellfire Missiles, 30-mm guns, and manned and unmanned vehicles designed to meet today’s and tomorrow’s missions.
  • Lethal – LCS is standard equipped with Rolling Airframe Missiles (RAM) and a Mark 110 gun, capable of firing 220 rounds per minute.
  • Fast – LCS is capable of speeds in excess of 40 knots/46 mph/74 km/h.
  • Automated – LCS has the most efficient staffing of any combat ship.

«LCS’ built-in flexibility makes it unlike any other Navy ship in the water today», said Joe DePietro, vice president and general manager of Small Combatants and Ship Systems. «LCS can serve a multitude of missions to include surface, anti-submarine and mine countermeasure missions by quickly integrating mission equipment and deploying manned and unmanned aerial, surface or sub-surface vehicles».

USS Nantucket (LCS-27) is the first Navy ship to be named after Nantucket, Massachusetts in more than 150 years. Nantucket has a deep connection to sailing and maritime traditions, serving as a whaling hub in the 1800s and as the home of generations of American sailors since the town’s beginning. The previous USS Nantucket, the first to be named after the island, was commissioned in 1862 to serve during the American Civil War.

«I have been given a very special honor in being the sponsor of the future USS Nantucket. I am happy she is being built here in Marinette, Wisconsin, which has an impressive history of shipbuilding», said Polly Spencer, LCS-27 sponsor. «Thank you to all the talented people who are bringing this ship to life… it is going to be an amazing journey that I am thrilled to be on».

USS Nantucket (LCS-27) will be the 14th Freedom-variant LCS and will join a class of more than 30 ships. It is one of six ships in various stages of construction and test at the Fincantieri Marinette Marine shipyard.

«We are very excited to begin construction of the future USS Nantucket», said Jan Allman, CEO of Fincantieri Marinette Marine. «Our men and women are proud to put their efforts into giving the Navy versatile ships to keep our country and its interests safe».

 

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

 

Freedom-class

Ship Laid down Launched Commissioned Homeport
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 11-17-2018 Mayport, Florida
USS Wichita (LCS-13) 02-09-2015 09-17-2016 01-12-2019 Mayport, Florida
USS Billings (LCS-15) 11-02-2015 07-01-2017 08-03-2019 Mayport, Florida
USS Indianapolis (LCS-17) 07-18-2016 04-18-2018 Mayport, Florida
USS St. Louis (LCS-19) 05-17-2017 12-15-2018
USS Minneapolis/St. Paul (LCS-21) 02-22-2018 06-15-2019
USS Cooperstown (LCS-23) 08-14-2018
USS Marinette (LCS-25) 03-27-2019
USS Nantucket (LCS-27) 10-09-2019
USS Beloit (LCS-29)
USS Cleveland (LCS-31)