Littoral Combat Ships (LCS)

Jeff Head

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That video I poste above is a GREAT example of the types of difficulties these two vessels face with their mission packages in the real world...and also a GREAT testament to how a couple of hard charging US Navy commanders (the COs on these ships) were able to still go ahead and meet many of the requirements.

This was with the first ship in each class about a year and a half ago and they have made a lot of progress since.

I would recommend any naval enthusiast spending the 90 minutes to watch this.

These ships will ultimately solve the issues and become very decent combatants, particularly with the up-arming they will be receiving and when focused on a couple of missions each.

I believe the Independence should focus on MMC, SpecOps, and also perform ASW when necessary..

I believe the Freedom should focus on ASW and ASuW duties. is a great video and shows the difficulties and the work arounds about 16-17 months ago.
I think it's relevant here:
Navy Issues RFI for New Frigate Anti-Surface Missile
The Navy has issued a call to industry for options for an over-the-horizon anti-surface missile for the service’s future frigate design, according to a notice from Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA)
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The request for information (RFI) — issued on June 15 — asks industry for options for a complete systems that includes the munitions, the fire control system and the launch system for the future missile destined for the frigate with an upward weight limits of 22,500 pounds, according to the notice.

The new OTH missile is a key component for the frigate design,
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Since the Navy announced its decision to modify the two existing Littoral Combat Ship designs for the frigate, two systems have emerged as likely contenders for the OTH business — Boeing with a modified version of its 1980s era RGM-84 Harpoon anti-ship missile and a Raytheon-Kongsberg team with Kongsberg’s Naval Strike Missile (NSM) based on Kongsberg’s Joint Strike Missile (JSM).

The service tested a version of the NSM onboard the Littoral Combat Ship USS Independence (LCS-2) last year. The Harpoon as been a mainstay aboard U.S. ships for more than 30 years.

The striking power an OTH missile brings to the U.S. surface fleet has been folded into the Navy’s emerging “distributed lethality” concept.

The Navy has admitted repeatedly the anti-ship capability of its surface ships has suffered during the almost 15-year U.S. focus in low-intensity ground conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq.

As part of the distributed lethality concept — unveiled earlier this year by U.S. surface warfare leaders — the modified LCS frigate design could work with existing guided missile destroyers in three to four ship surface action groups (SAGs) that could give the U.S. effective lower cost options for power projection outside of the larger carrier strike group construct.

Responses to the query from NAVSEA’s Program Executive Office Integrated Warfare Systems (PEO IWS) are due by July 15.
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Jeff Head

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(This is the 14th LCS Keel laying. 7 Freedom Class and 7 Independence Class)


Naval Today said:
Austal and the U.S. Navy held a keel-laying ceremony yesterday, June 29, for the future USS Manchester (LCS 14), marking the first significant milestone in its construction.

This ship is the fifth Independence variant littoral combat ship (LCS) built at Austal under the 10-ship, $3.5 billion block buy contract awarded to Austal in 2010, and will be the seventh Independence cariant overall.

Due to Austal’s modular approach to ship manufacturing, 36 of 37 modules used to form this 127-meter (419-foot) aluminum trimaran are already being fabricated. For Austal, keel laying marks the beginning of final assembly. Nineteen modules have been moved from Austal’s Module Manufacturing Facility (MMF) and erected in the final assembly bay in their pre-launch position. The remaining 18 modules will follow over the coming months.

Austal’s LCS program delivered USS Independence (LCS 2) in 2009 and USS Coronado (LCS 4) in 2013. Seven additional LCS are under construction at the Mobile, Alabama shipyard. The Navy conducted acceptance trials on the future USS Jackson (LCS 6) last week, while the future USS Montgomery (LCS 8) is preparing for builders trials later this year. The future USS Gabrielle Giffords (LCS 10) was christened June 13, and the future USS Omaha (LCS 12) will complete final assembly and prepare for launch later this summer. Modules for the future USS Tulsa (LCS 16) and the future USS Charleston (LCS 18) are in the early phases of construction.

Jeff Head

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(This is the 14th LCS Keel laying. 7 Freedom Class and 7 Independence Class)

Since 2008, when the Freedom was launched, the US has launched a total of 12 LCS and has two more whose keel have been laid, and two more under construction that are pre-keel laying.

Twelve vessels in nine years. I expect that the rate will continue to go up as they begin producing at least two per year, and three in some years. By 2018 we should be approaching twenty vessels in the water.

Jeff Head

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Naval Today said:
Austal announced that Littoral Combat Ship 6 (LCS 6), the future USS Jackson, has successfully completed US Navy acceptance trials.

The trials, the last significant milestone before delivery, were undertaken in the Gulf of Mexico and involved comprehensive testing of the vessel’s major systems and equipment by the US Navy.

After delivery of LCS 6, Austal will deliver a further nine Littoral Combat Ships from its shipyard at Mobile, Alabama, under a 10-ship, US$3.5 billion block-buy contract from the US Navy.

Of those, Montgomery (LCS 8) is preparing for trials and delivery later this year. Gabrielle Giffords (LCS 10) was recently christened. Final assembly is well underway on Omaha (LCS 12) and Manchester (LCS 14). Modules for Tulsa (LCS 16) and Charleston (LCS 18) are under construction in Austal’s module manufacturing facility.
interesting news from Singapore:

Singapore launches first Independence-class Littoral Mission Vessel
Singapore has launched the first of eight Littoral Mission Vessels (LMVs) on order for the Republic of Singapore Navy (RSN).

The vessel, Independence , was launched on 3 July at ST Marine's shipyard in Benoi in a ceremony presided over by Singapore's defence minister Ng Eng Hen.

Singapore's Ministry of Defence (MINDEF) signed a contract for the LMVs in January 2013, with the ships replacing the RSN's 11 Fearless-class patrol boats (which have been in service since the mid-1990s). The LMV has been jointly designed by Saab Kockums AB and ST Marine, and is being built in Singapore by ST Marine. Singapore's Defence Science and Technology Agency (DSTA) is the overall manager and systems integrator for the programme.

The Independence class is fitted with one Oto Melara 76 mm main gun, two Oto Melara Hitrole 12.7 mm remote-controlled weapon stations (one each on the port and starboard sides), and a stern-facing Rafael 25 mm Typhoon gun system. Protection against hostile aircraft and missiles is provided by MBDA's VL Mica anti-air missile system deployed via a 12-cell vertical launching system (VLS) in the forward section.

The platform's non-lethal options are provided by two water cannon and two remote-controlled long-range acoustic device (LRAD) system turrets with integrated xenon lights.

The sensor suite includes the Thales NS100 3D surveillance radar, Kelvin Hughes' SharpEye navigation radar, and an electro-optical director and 360° surveillance system supplied by Stelop (a business unit of ST Electronics). In response to a question from IHS Jane's , the RSN confirmed that the LMV does not have an anti-submarine warfare (ASW) capability.

The 1,250-tonne ship has a length of 80 m, a beam of 12 m, and a draught of 3 m. It has a top speed in excess of 27 kt and a range of 3,500 n miles on an endurance of 14 days.

The LMV can embark a medium-lift helicopter on its flight deck. It also features a launch-and-recovery system (provided by Norwegian Deck Machinery) that can accommodate at the stern two rigid hull inflatable boats (RHIBs) or the Protector unmanned surface vessel (USV). The LMV has a baseline crew complement of 23, including five officers.

A concept that is being proven out in the RSN for the first time is the LMV's integrated command centre, which co-locates the ship's bridge, combat information centre (CIC), and machinery control spaces.

"The integrated command centre integrates and synergises the management of navigation, engineering, and combat functions to achieve greater operational effectiveness and efficiency, especially during maritime security operations", said MINDEF. This approach mirrors that adopted on the US Navy's Independence-class Littoral Combat Ship (LCS).

Also fitted is a remote monitoring system that allows for real-time reporting of serviceability data. "The ship's platform and combat systems' health status can also be transmitted back to shore for centralised monitoring and prognosis of the systems to detect anomalies and plan for pre-emptive maintenance," said MINDEF.

To maximise versatility, the LMV has been configured to deploy a range of containerised mission packages such as a medical module to support humanitarian assistance and disaster relief (HADR) operations. The platform can also deploy unmanned systems for surveillance and mine countermeasures (MCM) operations.

Following the launch, Independence will undergo a combat system installation period, and will then start sea trials. The vessel is scheduled for delivery in 2016 and is expected to be fully operational by 2017. All eight LMVs are expected to achieve full operational capability by 2020.

Concepts such as the integrated command centre exemplify the RSN's service-wide effort to reduce manpower requirements. In an interview in the Singapore Armed Forces' publication Pioneer in May 2015, chief of navy Rear Admiral Lai Chung Han highlighted the republic's dwindling birth-rate as a challenge facing the service.

Other recent efforts to ease the manpower burden include the deployment on board RSN vessels of unmanned systems, such as the Scan Eagle unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) and the REMUS autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV).

The LMV's lack of organic ASW capability, in contrast to its sonar-equipped predecessors, suggests that the RSN is now relying on its Formidable-class frigates as the service's main submarine prosecutors. It could also be an indication that the RSN may employ helicopter-based submarine prosecution capabilities for the LMVs.
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elsewhere I found:
Compared to the Patrol Vessels, these LMVs have various customisable mission modules, including medical containers and unmanned systems, that can be reconfigured to respond to different circumstances and roles from counter-piracy, mine clearing to humanitarian assistance and disaster relief operations.

Also of note is the level of automation on board for a ship of its size and function - just 23 men are required to crew at the baseline level, compared to around 30 for the previous generation patrol vessels.

When completed, the Integrated Command Centre will form the nerve centre of the ship. It means that most tasks - from warfare to maintenance - will be carried out in the same space, unlike on previous warships.
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now I found related:
Singapore Selects VL MICA for New Littoral Mission Vessels
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Last edited:

Jeff Head

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Super Moderator
Here's pictures from the launch of Singapore's 1st new Independence Class Littoral Mission Vessel...not to be confused with the much larger US Navy Independence Class Littoral Combat Ship.

These Singapore vessels, at 1,200 tons, are really corvette sized vessels.

The first, the RSS Independence, LMV-15, was launched July 3rd.

It's specifications are:

Displacement: 1,200 tons
Length: 262 feet
Width: 39 feet
Speed: 27 knots
Range: 3,000 nmi
Crew: 23-30
1 x 76mm DP gun in a stealth cupola
1 x 30mm Mk 38 Mod 2 auto cannon in a stabilized Typhoon mount
2 x 12.7mm machine guns
12 x Mic VL Vertical launch AAW missiles
Pad for one medium weigh helo (no hanger)





Here's pictures from the launch of Singapore's 1st new Independence Class Littoral Mission Vessel...

I did a google-search a moment ago and two most interesting links, which I haven't seen yet, are:
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and one picture:

with the caption saying
Republic of Singapore Navy personnel training in the simulated Integrated Command Centre of the Littoral Mission Vessel.
only now I noticed (the article's dated June 25)
U.S. Navy Littoral Ship Found Vulnerable to Attack
Weeks before one of the U.S. Navy’s new
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departed for Asia, tests had exposed its vulnerability to a potential enemy attack, according to the Pentagon’s testing office.

A “total ship survivability test” of the USS Fort Worth conducted off of Southern California in October “highlighted the existence of significant vulnerabilities” in the design of vessels built by Lockheed Martin Corp., according to Michael Gilmore, the Pentagon’s director of combat testing.

“Much of the ship’s mission capability was lost because of damage caused” by the simulated effects of a weapons attack and a hypothetical fire that followed, Gilmore said in an assessment for Congress obtained by Bloomberg News.

While the Fort Worth has never been in combat, it had an encounter with a Chinese ship in disputed waters of the South China Sea in May. Gilmore’s report, mandated by lawmakers, may add more congressional scrutiny of Navy budget requests for the Littoral Combat Ship, designed for missions in shallow coastal waters.

In 2014, then-Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel truncated the original program to 32 ships for an estimated $23 billion, citing “considerable reservations as to whether this is what our Navy will require over the next decades.” The Fort Worth is among the 32 initial ships, comprised of different versions built by Lockheed and Australia-based Austal Ltd.

After a Navy study, Hagel accepted a proposal to buy an additional 20 ships after 2019 with improved armor, sensors and weapons. However,
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that the “minor modifications to the LCS will not yield a ship that is significantly more survivable.”

‘Validated’ Ability
Commander Thurraya Kent, a Navy spokeswoman, said in an e-mail that the test of the Fort Worth “validated the crew’s ability to perform as modeled” on computers, “which ultimately supports analysis that shows the ship meets its survivability requirements.”

With the Fort Worth now on a 16-month deployment to Asia that began in November, Gilmore’s report on its testing at sea, dated April 29, underscores the warship’s limitations.

The Littoral Combat Ship was conceived as tackling one task at a time, with modules that could be swapped out for different missions such as mine-clearing and anti-submarine or surface warfare.

A draft of a revised Navy concept of operations “indicates the Navy’s original vision of a nimble, mission-focused ship has been overcome by the realities of the multi-mission nature of naval warfare” in high-intensity conflicts, Gilmore wrote Defense Secretary Ashton Carter in a summary memo, also on April 29.

Computer Models
In at-sea testing, computer models and engineering assessments are used to predict damage to equipment and structures, the spread of a fire and flooding. The crew is then subjected to the effects of equipment shutdowns and battle damage.

Kent, the Navy spokeswoman, said the test on the Fort Worth “was a successful event that allowed the Navy to demonstrate that the inherent ship design features and applied LCS tactics, techniques and procedures provided the crew with the ability to contain damage, restore capability and care for personal casualties given the expected damage.”

Post-test analysis “identified potential system, equipment and procedural improvements which could further enhance ship and crew survivability,” she said.

But Gilmore’s unclassified summary said damage during the simulated October test “happened before the crew could respond and the ship does not have sufficient redundancy to recover the lost capability.”

“Some of the systems could be redesigned or reconfigured to make the ship less vulnerable” and faster to recover from damage “without requiring major structural modifications,” he wrote.

Off Philippines
This week the Fort Worth is taking part in a military exercise in the Philippines off the east coast of Palawan Island, near the South China Sea.

In the May incident, the vessel
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a Chinese vessel near the disputed Spratly islands. The ships exchanged codes to help understand each other and talk via radio. It was the first time one of the Littoral Combat Ships operated in waters around the islands, which are claimed by countries including China, the Philippines, Vietnam and Malaysia.

Commander Rich Jarrett, the Fort Worth’s commanding officer, said in an interview Monday from the ship moored at Palawan that he’s also sailed on the first vessel of the class, the USS Freedom, since 2008. From that ship “to Fort Worth, we’ve made a number of substantial improvements,” he said. “A lot of improvements to the machinery system.”

The first ship “went from cocktail napkin to commissioned warship in five years, which is unbelievably fast in terms of producing a new machine of this complexity,” Jarrett said. “So there were a number of improvements that should have been made, just because it was built so fast,” he said.

“We are loving life on Fort Worth because it is just so much improved,” Jarrett said.
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