Tag Archives: Littoral Combat Ship (LCS)

Bring her to life!

The U.S. Navy commissioned its newest Freedom-variant Littoral Combat Ship (LCS), the USS Wichita (LCS-13), during a 10 a.m. ceremony Saturday, January 12, at Naval Station Mayport, Florida, near Jacksonville, where the ship will be homeported.

Navy commissioned the USS Wichita (LCS-13)
Navy commissioned the USS Wichita (LCS-13)

U.S. Senator Jerry Moran of Kansas delivered the commissioning ceremony’s principal address. Kate Lehrer, author and wife of Wichita native Jim Lehrer, the former anchor of «The MacNeil-Lehrer News Hour» on PBS, is the ship’s sponsor. The ceremony was highlighted by a time-honored Navy tradition when Mrs. Lehrer gave the first order to «man our ship and bring her to life»!

«This commissioning represents USS Wichita’s entry into the active fleet and is a testament to the increased capabilities made possible by a true partnership between the Department of the Navy and our industrial base», said Secretary of the Navy Richard V. Spencer. «This ship honors the citizens of Wichita, Kansas for their longstanding support of the Navy and Marine Corps team and I am confident USS Wichita and crew will make our Navy and nation stronger».

The USS Wichita (LCS-13) is the third naval vessel to honor Kansas’s largest city. The first was a heavy cruiser in service from 1939 to 1947. Active during World War II, Wichita supported amphibious landings during Operation Torch in November 1942 in the European Theater. She later participated in the Battles of the Philippine Sea and Leyte Gulf and the invasion of Okinawa in 1944 in the Pacific Theater. Wichita earned 13 battle stars for wartime service. The second USS Wichita (AOR-1) was a first-in-class replenishment oiler in service from 1969 to 1993. During her first three deployments, the ship made numerous trips to replenish ships on «Yankee Station», earning four battle stars for service during the Vietnam War.

The USS Wichita (LCS-13) is a fast, agile, focused-mission platform designed for operation in near-shore environments as well as the open-ocean. It is designed to defeat asymmetric «anti-access» threats such as mines, quiet diesel submarines and fast surface craft.

The LCS class consists of two variants, the Freedom variant and the Independence variant, designed and built by two industry teams. The Freedom variant team is led by Lockheed Martin, Marinette, Wisconsin, (for the odd-numbered hulls). The Independence variant team is led by Austal USA, Mobile, Alabama, (for LCS-6 and the subsequent even-numbered hulls).

 

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 Mayport, Florida
USS Indianapolis (LCS-17) 07-18-2016 04-18-2018
USS St. Louis (LCS-19) 05-17-2017 12-15-2018
USS Minneapolis/St. Paul (LCS-21) 02-22-2018
USS Cooperstown (LCS-23) 08-14-2018
USS Marinette LCS-25
USS Nantucket (LCS-27)
USS Beloit (LCS-29)

 

Keel laying

The U.S. Navy held a keel laying and authentication ceremony for the future USS Mobile (LCS-26) at Austal USA’s shipyard on December 14.

Navy lays keel of future USS Mobile (LCS-26)
Navy lays keel of future USS Mobile (LCS-26)

The ship’s sponsor, Rebecca Byrne, wife of Representative Bradley Byrne, Republican-Alabama, authenticated the keel for the 13th Independence variant of the Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) during the ceremony. While keel laying traditionally represents the formal start of a ship’s construction, fabrication of the ship begins months in advance. Today, keel laying continues to symbolically recognize the joining of the ship’s components and the ceremonial beginning of the ship.

The LCS seaframe program manager’s representative, Commander Chris Addington, commended the Austal USA shipbuilders at the event.

«With the learning and improvements that the Austal team has forged into this hull, this 13th ship of the Independence variant will certainly be the best yet», he said. «Thanks to all of you for the effort that will be put into completing this great ship that will exemplify its namesake city».

LCS is a fast, agile, mission-focused platform designed to operate in near-shore environments, while capable of open-ocean tasking and winning against 21st-century coastal threats such as submarines, mines and swarming small craft. They are capable of supporting forward presence, maritime security, sea control and deterrence.

There are currently four other Independence variant LCSs undergoing construction at Austal USA, with three additional ships in pre-production planning.

 

The Independence Variant of the LCS Class

PRINCIPAL DIMENSIONS
Construction Hull and superstructure – aluminium alloy
Length overall 421 feet/128.3 m
Beam overall 103 feet/31.4 m
Hull draft (maximum) 14.8 feet/4.5 m
PAYLOAD AND CAPACITIES
Complement Core Crew – 40
Mission crew – 36
Berthing 76 in a mix of single, double & quad berthing compartments
Maximum mission load 210 tonnes
Mission Bay Volume 118,403 feet3/11,000 m3
Mission packages Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW)
Surface Warfare (SUW)
Mine Warfare (MIW)
PROPULSION
Main engines 2 × GE LM2500
2 × MTU 20V 8000
Waterjets 4 × Wartsila steerable
Bow thruster Retractable azimuthing
PERFORMANCE
Speed 40 knots/46 mph/74 km/h
Range 3,500 NM/4,028 miles/6,482 km
Operational limitation Survival in Sea State 8
MISSION/LOGISTICS DECK
Deck area >21,527.8 feet2/2,000 m2
Launch and recovery Twin boom extending crane
Loading Side ramp
Internal elevator to hanger
Launch/Recover Watercraft Sea State 4
FLIGHT DECK AND HANGER
Flight deck dimensions 2 × SH-60 or 1 × CH-53 or multiple Unmanned Aerial Vehicles/Vertical Take-off and Land Tactical Unmanned Air Vehicles (UAVs/VTUAVs)
Hanger Aircraft stowage & maintenance for 2 × SH-60
Launch/Recover Aircraft Sea State 5
WEAPONS AND SENSORS
Standard 1 × 57-mm gun
4 × 12.7-mm/.50 caliber guns
1 × Surface-to-Air Missile (SAM) launcher
3 × weapons modules

 

Independence-class

Ship Laid down Launched Commissioned Homeport
USS Independence (LCS-2) 01-19-2006 04-26-2008 01-16-2010 San Diego, California
USS Coronado (LCS-4) 12-17-2009 01-14-2012 04-05-2014 San Diego, California
USS Jackson (LCS-6) 08-01-2011 12-14-2013 12-05-2015 San Diego, California
USS Montgomery (LCS-8) 06-25-2013 08-06-2014 09-10-2016 San Diego, California
USS Gabrielle Giffords (LCS-10) 04-16-2014 02-25-2015 06-10-2017 San Diego, California
USS Omaha (LCS-12) 02-18-2015 11-20-2015 02-03-2018 San Diego, California
USS Manchester (LCS-14) 06-29-2015 05-12-2016 05-26-2018 San Diego, California
USS Tulsa (LCS-16) 01-11-2016 03-16-2017 San Diego, California
USS Charleston (LCS-18) 06-28-2016 09-14-2017
USS Cincinnati (LCS-20) 04-10-2017 05-22-2018
USS Kansas City (LCS-22) 11-15-2017
USS Oakland (LCS-24) 07-20-2018
USS Mobile (LCS-26) 12-14-2018
USS Savannah (LCS-28)
USS Canberra (LCS-30)
USS Santa Barbara (LCS-32)
LCS-34
LCS-36
LCS-38

 

Christening of St. Louis

The Lockheed Martin-led shipbuilding team launched Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) 19, the future USS St. Louis into the Menominee River at the Fincantieri Marinette Marine Shipyard. Ship sponsor Barbara Broadhurst Taylor, the daughter of a decorated World War II aviator, christened USS St. Louis (LCS-19) just prior to launch.

Ship sponsor Barbara Broadhurst Taylor breaks a bottle of sparkling wine across the bow during the christening ceremony for the nation’s 19th Littoral Combat Ship, the future USS St. Louis
Ship sponsor Barbara Broadhurst Taylor breaks a bottle of sparkling wine across the bow during the christening ceremony for the nation’s 19th Littoral Combat Ship, the future USS St. Louis

«USS St. Louis (LCS-19) is the second ship we’ve christened and launched this year. Our shipbuilding team has truly hit its stride. We completed trials on three ships and delivered two more. Once delivered to the U.S. Navy, USS St. Louis LCS-19 will be on its way to independently completing targeted missions around the world», said Joe DePietro, Lockheed Martin vice president and general manager of Small Combatants and Ship Systems. «We remain focused on delivering these affordable ships to the fleet as quickly as possible and increasing capability with each hull».

The Freedom-variant LCS integrates new technology and capability to affordably support current and future missions from deep water to the littorals. LCS is a highly maneuverable, lethal and adaptable ship, designed to support focused mine countermeasures, anti-submarine warfare and surface warfare missions. USS St. Louis (LCS-19) is targeted to support the mine countermeasures mission.

Lockheed Martin is in full-rate production and has delivered seven ships to the U.S. Navy. There are seven ships in various stages of production and test at Fincantieri Marinette Marine. This year, the Lockheed Martin-led team began construction on two ships, delivered two ships, completed sea trials for three ships and saw one delivered ship commissioned. LCS-13, the future USS Wichita, is slated for commissioning in Mayport, Florida, on January 12.

«I am thrilled and very honored to be the sponsor of the future USS St. Louis (LCS-19). The combination of my family’s military background and the enduring spirit of the great city of St. Louis make this incredibly meaningful», Taylor said. «This is the seventh ship to bear the name St. Louis, and I know that the people of our great city are extremely proud that this distinguished legacy will continue».

Littoral Combat Ship 19 (St. Louis) Christened and Launched
Littoral Combat Ship 19 (St. Louis) Christened and Launched

Unique among combat ships, LCS is designed to complete close-to-shore missions and is a growing and relevant part of the U.S. Navy’s fleet.

  • It is fast – capable of speeds in excess of 40 knots/46 mph/74 km/h.
  • It is automated – with the most efficient staffing of any combat ship.
  • It is lethal – standard equipped with Rolling Airframe Missiles (RAM) and a Mark 110 gun, capable of firing 220 rounds per minute.
  • It is flexible – with 40 percent of the hull easily reconfigurable, integrating capabilities like the Longbow Hellfire Missiles, 30-mm guns, and manned and unmanned vehicles targeted to meet today’s and tomorrow’s missions.

«We are proud to be building USS St. Louis LCS-19 and her sister ships at the heartland’s only naval shipyard», said Jan Allman, Fincantieri Marinette Marine president and CEO. «Today’s launch and christening is a testament to the hard work of more than 2,000 workers who pass through the shipyard’s gates, put on their hard hats and build American warships».

LCS-19 Christening and Launch

 

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 Mayport, Florida
USS Billings (LCS-15) 11-02-2015 07-01-2017 Mayport, Florida
USS Indianapolis (LCS-17) 07-18-2016 04-18-2018
USS St. Louis (LCS-19) 05-17-2017 12-15-2018
USS Minneapolis/St. Paul (LCS-21) 02-22-2018
USS Cooperstown (LCS-23) 08-14-2018
USS Marinette LCS-25
USS Nantucket (LCS-27)
USS Beloit (LCS-29)

 

Acceptance Trials

The future USS Billings (LCS-15) successfully completed its acceptance trials December 7 after a series of graded in-port and underway demonstrations on the Great Lakes for the Navy’s Board of Inspection and Survey.

Future USS Billings (LCS-15) completes acceptance trials
Future USS Billings (LCS-15) completes acceptance trials

Acceptance trials is the last significant milestone before the ship is delivered to the U.S. Navy. During the trial, the U.S. Navy conducted comprehensive tests of the Freedom-variant Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) to demonstrate the performance of the propulsion plant, ship handling capabilities and auxiliary systems.

«The successful completion of these acceptance trials is an important step in the life of the future USS Billings», said LCS program manager Captain Mike Taylor. «I look forward to the next phase of Billings’s journey when she is delivered to the Navy in early spring 2019».

Following delivery and commissioning, USS Billings (LCS-15) will sail to her Florida homeport in Mayport with sister ships USS Milwaukee (LCS-5), USS Detroit (LCS-7), USS Little Rock (LCS-9), USS Sioux City (LCS-11) and the future USS Wichita (LCS-13).

Seven more Freedom-variant ships are under construction at Fincantieri Marinette Marine Corp. in Marinette, Wisconsin. The future USS Indianapolis (LCS-17) was christened in April, and the future USS St. Louis (LCS 19) is scheduled to be christened on December 15.

Additional ships in the production phase include the future USS Minneapolis-St. Paul (LCS-21), USS Cooperstown (LCS-23), USS Marinette (LCS-25) and USS Nantucket (LCS-27), with USS Beloit (LCS-29) in the pre-production phase.

LCS is a highly maneuverable, lethal and adaptable ship designed to support focused mine countermeasures, anti-submarine warfare and surface warfare missions. The Freedom-variant LCS integrates new technology and capability to affordably support current and future mission capability from deep water to the littorals.

 

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   Mayport, Florida
USS Billings (LCS-15) 11-02-2015 07-01-2017   Mayport, Florida
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)        
USS Beloit (LCS-29)        

The 11th LCS

The Navy commissioned its newest Freedom-variant Littoral Combat Ship (LCS), USS Sioux City (LCS-11), during a 9 a.m. ceremony Saturday, November 17, at the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland.

The ship will be assigned to the Fifth Fleet in the Persian Gulf
The ship will be assigned to the Fifth Fleet in the Persian Gulf

U.S. Senator Joni Ernst of Iowa delivered the commissioning ceremony’s principal address. Mary Winnefeld, the wife of former vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, retired Admiral James «Sandy» Winnefeld, was the ship’s sponsor. The ceremony was highlighted by a time-honored Navy tradition when Mrs. Winnefeld gives the first order to «man our ship and bring her to life»!

«This ship is named in honor of Sioux City, Iowa, but represents more than one city», said Secretary of the Navy Richard V. Spencer. «USS Sioux City (LCS-11) represents an investment in readiness and lethality, and is a testament to the increased capabilities made possible by a true partnership between the Department of the Navy and our industrial base».

The future USS Sioux City, designated LCS-11, is the 13th LCS to enter the fleet and the sixth of the Freedom-variant design. The future USS Sioux City is the first naval vessel to be named in honor of Sioux City, Iowa. The fourth-largest city in the state, Sioux City was founded in 1854 at the navigational head of the Missouri River and takes its name from one of a group of North American Indian tribes that make up the Great Sioux Nation.

The littoral combat ship is a fast, agile, mission-focused platform designed to operate in near-shore environments, while capable of open-ocean tasking and winning against 21st-century coastal threats such as submarines, mines and swarming small craft. They are capable of supporting forward presence, maritime security, sea control and deterrence.

USS Sioux City (LCS-11) will be homeported at Naval Station Mayport, Florida.

 

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
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)

 

Christening of Kansas

The U.S. Navy christened its newest Independence-variant Littoral Combat Ship (LCS), the future USS Kansas City (LCS-22), during a 10 a.m. (CDT) ceremony Saturday, September 22, in Mobile, Alabama.

A graphic representation of the future USS Kansas City (LCS-22) (U.S. Navy graphic/Released)
A graphic representation of the future USS Kansas City (LCS-22) (U.S. Navy graphic/Released)

At the ceremony, the principal speaker will be U.S. Representative Emanuel Cleaver II from Missouri. Mrs. Tracy Davidson, wife of commander of U.S. Indo-Pacific Command Admiral Philip Davidson, served as the ship’s sponsor. In a time-honored Navy tradition, she christened the ship by breaking a bottle of sparkling wine across the bow.

«The future USS Kansas City (LCS-22) is a symbol of the strong connection between the people of Missouri and the Navy and Marine Corps team», said Secretary of the U.S. Navy Richard V. Spencer. «The ship is a testament to our commitment to provide maritime dominance and power projection required by the nation, and to our partnership with industry to build the Navy the nation needs».

The future USS Kansas City (LCS-22) is the second U.S. Navy ship to honor Missouri’s largest city. Originally intended to be the first Kansas City, the keel was laid for what was planned to be an Oregon City-class heavy cruiser on July 9, 1945 in the waning days of World War II. With the war’s end in sight, construction was halted about a month later. The first commissioned U.S. Navy vessel named Kansas City was a Wichita-class replenishment ship commissioned June 6, 1970. The ship earned a number of unit awards throughout its life including for service in Vietnam and Operation Desert Storm. Kansas City was decommissioned on October 7, 1994.

LCS is a modular, reconfigurable ship, designed to meet validated fleet requirements for surface warfare, anti-submarine warfare and mine countermeasures missions in littoral regions. An interchangeable mission package that provides primary mission systems in one of these warfare areas 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 areas in multiple theaters.

The LCS class consists of two variants, the Freedom variant and the Independence variant, designed and built by two industry teams. The Freedom variant team is led by Lockheed Martin (for the odd-numbered hulls). The Independence variant team is led by Austal USA (for LCS-6 and the subsequent even-numbered hulls).

 

The Independence Variant of the LCS Class

PRINCIPAL DIMENSIONS
Construction Hull and superstructure – aluminium alloy
Length overall 421 feet/128.3 m
Beam overall 103 feet/31.4 m
Hull draft (maximum) 14.8 feet/4.5 m
PAYLOAD AND CAPACITIES
Complement Core Crew – 40
Mission crew – 36
Berthing 76 in a mix of single, double & quad berthing compartments
Maximum mission load 210 tonnes
Mission Bay Volume 118,403 feet3/11,000 m3
Mission packages Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW)
Surface Warfare (SUW)
Mine Warfare (MIW)
PROPULSION
Main engines 2 × GE LM2500
2 × MTU 20V 8000
Waterjets 4 × Wartsila steerable
Bow thruster Retractable azimuthing
PERFORMANCE
Speed 40 knots/46 mph/74 km/h
Range 3,500 NM/4,028 miles/6,482 km
Operational limitation Survival in Sea State 8
MISSION/LOGISTICS DECK
Deck area >21,527.8 feet2/2,000 m2
Launch and recovery Twin boom extending crane
Loading Side ramp
Internal elevator to hanger
Launch/Recover Watercraft Sea State 4
FLIGHT DECK AND HANGER
Flight deck dimensions 2 × SH-60 or 1 × CH-53 or multiple Unmanned Aerial Vehicles/Vertical Take-off and Land Tactical Unmanned Air Vehicles (UAVs/VTUAVs)
Hanger Aircraft stowage & maintenance for 2 × SH-60
Launch/Recover Aircraft Sea State 5
WEAPONS AND SENSORS
Standard 1 × 57-mm gun
4 × 12.7-mm/.50 caliber guns
1 × Surface-to-Air Missile (SAM) launcher
3 × weapons modules

 

Independence-class

Ship Laid down Launched Commissioned Homeport
USS Independence (LCS-2) 01-19-2006 04-26-2008 01-16-2010 San Diego, California
USS Coronado (LCS-4) 12-17-2009 01-14-2012 04-05-2014 San Diego, California
USS Jackson (LCS-6) 08-01-2011 12-14-2013 12-05-2015 San Diego, California
USS Montgomery (LCS-8) 06-25-2013 08-06-2014 09-10-2016 San Diego, California
USS Gabrielle Giffords (LCS-10) 04-16-2014 02-25-2015 06-10-2017 San Diego, California
USS Omaha (LCS-12) 02-18-2015 11-20-2015 02-03-2018 San Diego, California
USS Manchester (LCS-14) 06-29-2015 05-12-2016 05-26-2018 San Diego, California
USS Tulsa (LCS-16) 01-11-2016 03-16-2017 San Diego, California
USS Charleston (LCS-18) 06-28-2016 09-14-2017
USS Cincinnati (LCS-20) 04-10-2017 05-22-2018
USS Kansas City (LCS-22) 11-15-2017
USS Oakland (LCS-24) 07-20-2018
USS Mobile (LCS-26)
USS Savannah (LCS-28)
USS Canberra (LCS-30)
LCS-32
LCS-34

 

Navy takes Charleston

The U.S. Navy accepted delivery of the future USS Charleston (LCS-18) during a ceremony at the Austal USA shipyard August 31.

Navy takes delivery of future USS Charleston (LCS-18)
Navy takes delivery of future USS Charleston (LCS-18)

The delivery marks the official transfer of LCS-18 from the Austal USA-led shipbuilding team to the U.S. Navy. It is the final milestone before commissioning, which is yet to be finalized.

«Today marks a significant milestone in the life of the future USS Charleston (LCS-18), as transfer occurs to the Navy and she enters service», said Captain Mike Taylor, Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) program manager. «I look forward to celebrating the commissioning of this fine ship alongside the crew later this year».

Charleston is the 16th LCS to be delivered to the Navy and the eighth of the Independence variant. The Independence variant is noted for its unique trimaran hull and its large flight deck.

«The crew has done a tremendous job getting the future USS Charleston (LCS-18) ready for commissioning, at which time our newest LCS will join the fleet», said Captain Matthew McGonigle, commander, LCS Squadron One (COMLCSRON ONE). «We are excited to see our newest LCS in San Diego soon and welcome the ship into the LCS community».

COMLCSRON ONE supports the operational commanders with warships ready for tasking by manning, training, equipping and maintaining littoral combat ships on the West Coast.

Following commissioning, Charleston will be homeported in San Diego with her sister ships USS Freedom (LCS-1), USS Independence (LCS-2), USS Fort Worth (LCS-3), USS Coronado (LCS-4), USS Jackson (LCS-6), USS Montgomery (LCS-8), USS Gabrielle Giffords (LCS-10), USS Omaha (LCS-12), USS Manchester (LCS-14) and the future USS Tulsa (LCS-16), which was delivered in April.

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 Program Executive Office (PEO) for Unmanned and Small Combatants is responsible for delivering and sustaining littoral mission capabilities to the fleet.

 

The Independence Variant of the LCS Class

PRINCIPAL DIMENSIONS
Construction Hull and superstructure – aluminium alloy
Length overall 421 feet/128.3 m
Beam overall 103 feet/31.4 m
Hull draft (maximum) 14.8 feet/4.5 m
PAYLOAD AND CAPACITIES
Complement Core Crew – 40
Mission crew – 36
Berthing 76 in a mix of single, double & quad berthing compartments
Maximum mission load 210 tonnes
Mission Bay Volume 118,403 feet3/11,000 m3
Mission packages Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW)
Surface Warfare (SUW)
Mine Warfare (MIW)
PROPULSION
Main engines 2 × GE LM2500
2 × MTU 20V 8000
Waterjets 4 × Wartsila steerable
Bow thruster Retractable azimuthing
PERFORMANCE
Speed 40 knots/46 mph/74 km/h
Range 3,500 NM/4,028 miles/6,482 km
Operational limitation Survival in Sea State 8
MISSION/LOGISTICS DECK
Deck area >21,527.8 feet2/2,000 m2
Launch and recovery Twin boom extending crane
Loading Side ramp
Internal elevator to hanger
Launch/Recover Watercraft Sea State 4
FLIGHT DECK AND HANGER
Flight deck dimensions 2 × SH-60 or 1 × CH-53 or multiple Unmanned Aerial Vehicles/Vertical Take-off and Land Tactical Unmanned Air Vehicles (UAVs/VTUAVs)
Hanger Aircraft stowage & maintenance for 2 × SH-60
Launch/Recover Aircraft Sea State 5
WEAPONS AND SENSORS
Standard 1 × 57-mm gun
4 × 12.7-mm/.50 caliber guns
1 × Surface-to-Air Missile (SAM) launcher
3 × weapons modules

 

Independence-class

Ship Laid down Launched Commissioned Homeport
USS Independence (LCS-2) 01-19-2006 04-26-2008 01-16-2010 San Diego, California
USS Coronado (LCS-4) 12-17-2009 01-14-2012 04-05-2014 San Diego, California
USS Jackson (LCS-6) 08-01-2011 12-14-2013 12-05-2015 San Diego, California
USS Montgomery (LCS-8) 06-25-2013 08-06-2014 09-10-2016 San Diego, California
USS Gabrielle Giffords (LCS-10) 04-16-2014 02-25-2015 06-10-2017 San Diego, California
USS Omaha (LCS-12) 02-18-2015 11-20-2015 02-03-2018 San Diego, California
USS Manchester (LCS-14) 06-29-2015 05-12-2016 05-26-2018 San Diego, California
USS Tulsa (LCS-16) 01-11-2016 03-16-2017 San Diego, California
USS Charleston (LCS-18) 06-28-2016 09-14-2017
USS Cincinnati (LCS-20) 04-10-2017 05-22-2018
USS Kansas City (LCS-22) 11-15-2017
USS Oakland (LCS-24) 07-20-2018
USS Mobile (LCS-26)
USS Savannah (LCS-28)
USS Canberra (LCS-30)

 

Navy Accepts Delivery

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.

USS Wichita (LCS-13) and USS Sioux City (LCS-11) are berthed bow to bow at Lockheed Martin in Marinette, Wisconsin on Wednesday (on August 22, 2018) as both ships were delivered to the U.S. Navy during ceremonies held at the shipyard (U.S. Navy Photo by Brian Kriese, SUPSHIP Bath Det. Marinette/Released)
USS Wichita (LCS-13) and USS Sioux City (LCS-11) are berthed bow to bow at Lockheed Martin in Marinette, Wisconsin on Wednesday (on August 22, 2018) as both ships were delivered to the U.S. Navy during ceremonies held at the shipyard (U.S. Navy Photo by Brian Kriese, SUPSHIP Bath Det. Marinette/Released)

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

 

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
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)

 

Laid the keel

The Lockheed Martin-led industry team officially laid the keel for the U.S. Navy’s 23rd Littoral Combat Ship (LCS), the future USS Cooperstown, in a ceremony held at Fincantieri Marinette Marine in Marinette, Wisconsin.

A welder authenticates the keel of LCS-23, the future USS Cooperstown, by welding the initials of keel authenticator Ellen R. Tillapaugh, Mayor of the Village of Cooperstown, New York. The Keel Laying is the formal recognition of the start of the ship's module construction process
A welder authenticates the keel of LCS-23, the future USS Cooperstown, by welding the initials of keel authenticator Ellen R. Tillapaugh, Mayor of the Village of Cooperstown, New York. The Keel Laying is the formal recognition of the start of the ship’s module construction process

Ellen R. Tillapaugh, Mayor of the Village of Cooperstown, New York, completed the time-honored tradition and authenticated the keel by welding her initials onto a steel plate that will be placed in the ship.

«It is a tremendous honor to authenticate the keel for the future USS Cooperstown», Tillapaugh said. «Ships and their crews have a special bond with their namesake, and I know the village of Cooperstown will proudly support this ship throughout her construction, and when she is commissioned and enters the Navy fleet».

The Lockheed Martin and Fincantieri Marinette Marine team is currently in full-rate production of the Freedom-variant of the LCS, and has delivered five ships to the U.S. Navy to date. The future USS Cooperstown (LCS-23) is one of eight ships in various stages of construction at Fincantieri Marinette Marine.

«We are proud to build another proven warship that allows our Navy to carry out their missions around the world», said Joe DePietro, Lockheed Martin vice president of small combatants and ship systems. «We look forward to working with the U.S. Navy to continue building and delivering highly capable and adaptable Freedom-variant Littoral Combat Ships to the fleet».

LCS-23 will be the first vessel named for Cooperstown. Her name honors the veterans who are members of the National Baseball Hall of Fame located in the namesake city. These 64 men served in conflicts ranging from the Civil War through the Korean War.

Lockheed Martin’s Freedom-variant LCS is highly maneuverable, lethal and adaptable. Originally designed to support focused missions such as mine warfare, anti-submarine warfare and surface warfare, the team continues to evolve capabilities based on rigorous Navy operational testing; sailor feedback and multiple successful fleet deployments. The Freedom-variant LCS integrates new technology and capability to affordably support current and future mission capability from deep water to the littorals.

 

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
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)

 

Acceptance trials

On August 1, 2018 Austal celebrated its ninth Independence Class Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) which completed acceptance trials in the Gulf of Mexico. The USS Charleston (LCS-18) will be the third LCS Austal has delivered to the U.S. Navy in 2018.

Littoral Combat Ship USS Charleston (LCS-18) during launch at Austal USA's Mobile, Alabama shipyard in September 2017. LCS-16 (Tulsa) alongside (Image: Austal)
Littoral Combat Ship USS Charleston (LCS-18) during launch at Austal USA’s Mobile, Alabama shipyard in September 2017. LCS-16 (Tulsa) alongside (Image: Austal)

The completion of acceptance trials is the last major milestone required by the U.S. Navy before the ship is delivered and commissioned into service. The trial involves the execution of intensive and comprehensive tests by the Austal-led industry team to demonstrate to the U.S. Navy the successful operation of the ship’s major systems and equipment.

«Austal USA delivered USS Manchester (LCS-14) to the U.S. Navy at the end of February, USS Tulsa (LCS-16) at the end of April and will deliver USS Charleston (LCS-18) in the next couple of months. Moving these ships out to the fleet in such rapid succession is a huge accomplishment for our Mobile team and a testament to the supply chain supporting the LCS Program», CEO David Singleton said.

«Of the eight Independence-variants LCS Austal has delivered, six are currently homeported at the San Diego Navy Base. These ships are being increasingly utilized by the U.S. Navy in operations and the feedback on their versatility and capability is a fantastic endorsement of our unique Austal design», he said.

«There’s no doubt these small surface combatants are and will continue to make a major difference in the U.S. global force structure as the U.S. Navy continues to grow to a 355-ship fleet», he said.

The LCS program is at a full rate production with several ships currently under construction. USS Cincinnati (LCS-20) is preparing for sea trials. Final assembly is well underway on USS Kansas City (LCS-22) and USS Oakland (LCS-24). Modules for USS Mobile (LCS-26) and USS Savannah (LCS-28) are under construction in the module manufacturing facility and USS Canberra (LCS-30) is in pre-production.

 

The Independence Variant of the LCS Class

PRINCIPAL DIMENSIONS
Construction Hull and superstructure – aluminium alloy
Length overall 421 feet/128.3 m
Beam overall 103 feet/31.4 m
Hull draft (maximum) 14.8 feet/4.5 m
PAYLOAD AND CAPACITIES
Complement Core Crew – 40
Mission crew – 36
Berthing 76 in a mix of single, double & quad berthing compartments
Maximum mission load 210 tonnes
Mission Bay Volume 118,403 feet3/11,000 m3
Mission packages Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW)
Surface Warfare (SUW)
Mine Warfare (MIW)
PROPULSION
Main engines 2 × GE LM2500
2 × MTU 20V 8000
Waterjets 4 × Wartsila steerable
Bow thruster Retractable azimuthing
PERFORMANCE
Speed 40 knots/46 mph/74 km/h
Range 3,500 NM/4,028 miles/6,482 km
Operational limitation Survival in Sea State 8
MISSION/LOGISTICS DECK
Deck area >21,527.8 feet2/2,000 m2
Launch and recovery Twin boom extending crane
Loading Side ramp
Internal elevator to hanger
Launch/Recover Watercraft Sea State 4
FLIGHT DECK AND HANGER
Flight deck dimensions 2 × SH-60 or 1 × CH-53 or multiple Unmanned Aerial Vehicles/Vertical Take-off and Land Tactical Unmanned Air Vehicles (UAVs/VTUAVs)
Hanger Aircraft stowage & maintenance for 2 × SH-60
Launch/Recover Aircraft Sea State 5
WEAPONS AND SENSORS
Standard 1 × 57-mm gun
4 × 12.7-mm/.50 caliber guns
1 × Surface-to-Air Missile (SAM) launcher
3 × weapons modules

 

Independence-class

Ship Laid down Launched Commissioned Homeport
USS Independence (LCS-2) 01-19-2006 04-26-2008 01-16-2010 San Diego, California
USS Coronado (LCS-4) 12-17-2009 01-14-2012 04-05-2014 San Diego, California
USS Jackson (LCS-6) 08-01-2011 12-14-2013 12-05-2015 San Diego, California
USS Montgomery (LCS-8) 06-25-2013 08-06-2014 09-10-2016 San Diego, California
USS Gabrielle Giffords (LCS-10) 04-16-2014 02-25-2015 06-10-2017 San Diego, California
USS Omaha (LCS-12) 02-18-2015 11-20-2015 02-03-2018 San Diego, California
USS Manchester (LCS-14) 06-29-2015 05-12-2016 05-26-2018 San Diego, California
USS Tulsa (LCS-16) 01-11-2016 03-16-2017 San Diego, California
USS Charleston (LCS-18) 06-28-2016 09-14-2017
USS Cincinnati (LCS-20) 04-10-2017 05-22-2018
USS Kansas City (LCS-22) 11-15-2017
USS Oakland (LCS-24) 07-20-2018
USS Mobile (LCS-26)
USS Savannah (LCS-28)
USS Canberra (LCS-30)