Freedom class Littoral Combat Ship - LCS

 

Freedom class littoral combat ship LCS Marinette Marine Systems Lockheed Martin

 

 

The Freedom class was proposed by Lockheed Martin as a contender for USN plans to build a fleet of small, multipurpose warships to operate in the littoral zone. Two ships were approved, to compete with the Independence class design offered by General Dynamics and Austal for a construction contract of up to 55 vessels.


Planning and construction:

Planning for a class of small, multipurpose warships to operate in the littoral zone began in the early 2000s. The construction contract was awarded to Lockheed Martin's LCS team (Lockheed Martin, Gibbs & Cox, Marinette Marine, Bollinger Shipyards) in May 2004 for two vessels. These would then be compared to two ships built by Austal USA to determine which design would be taken up by the Navy for a production run of up to 55 ships.

On 15 April 2003, the Lockheed Martin LCS team unveiled their Sea Blade concept based on the hull form of the motor yacht Destriero.

The keel of lead ship USS Freedom laid down in June 2005, by Marinette Marine in Marinette, Wisconsin. She was christened in September 2006, delivered to the Navy in September 2008, and commissioned that November. During INSURV trials, 2,600 discrepancies were discovered, including 21 considered high-priority. Not all of these were rectified before the ship entered service, as moving the ship away from Milwaukee before the winter freeze was considered a higher priority.

Cost overruns during Freedom's construction combined with projected future overruns led the government to issue a "Stop-work" in January 2007 and ultimately led to the cancellation of construction of LCS-3 (the second Lockheed Martin ship) on April 13, 2007. This ship was later re-ordered.

After much inconsistency on how testing and orders were to proceed, in November 2010, the USN asked that Congress approve ten of both the Freedom and Independence classes.


Design:

The ship is a semi-planing steel monohull with an aluminum superstructure. The design incorporates a large reconfigurable seaframe to allow rapidly interchangeable mission modules, a flight deck with integrated helicopter launch, recovery and handling system and the capability to launch and recover boats (manned and unmanned) from both the stern and side.

The flight deck is 1.5 times the size of that of a standard surface ship, and uses a Trigon traversing system to move helicopters in and out of the hangar. The ship has two ways to launch and recover various mission packages: a stern ramp and a starboard side door near the waterline. The mission module bay has a 3-axis crane for positioning modules or cargo.

The fore deck has a modular weapons zone which can be used for a 57 mm gun turret or missile launcher. A Rolling Airframe Missile launcher is mounted above the hangar for short-range defense against aircraft and cruise missiles, and .50-caliber gun mounts are provided topside.

The core crew will be 40 sailors, usually joined by a mission package crew and an aviation detachment for a total crew of about 75. Automation allows a reduced crew, which greatly reduces operating costs, but workload can still be "grueling". During testing of the class lead, two ship's companies will rotate on four-month assignments.

Four 750-Kilowatt Fincantieri Isotta-Fraschini diesel generators provide 3 megawatts of electrical power to power the ship systems.

The Congressional Budget Office estimates that fuel will account for only "8 percent to 18 percent" of the total life-cycle costs for Freedom. Senator Jeff Sessions has called the report into question and has suggested that the Independence, built in his state, would be more fuel efficient and that less frequent refuelings would have an impact on military operations beyond the cost of fuel.

 

Ships:

Units

in service

Builder

LCS 1 USS Freedom

2008

Marinette Marine Corporation, Marinette, Wisconsin (Lockheed Martin LCS Team)

LCS 3 USS Fort Worth

2012

Marinette Marine Corporation, Marinette, Wisconsin

LCS 5 USS Milwaukee

?

Marinette Marine Corporation, Marinette, Wisconsin

LCS 7 USS Detroit

?

Marinette Marine Corporation, Marinette, Wisconsin

LCS 9 USS Little Rock

?

Marinette Marine Corporation, Marinette, Wisconsin

LCS 11 USS Sioux City

?

Marinette Marine Corporation, Marinette, Wisconsin

LCS 13 USS Wichita

?

Marinette Marine Corporation, Marinette, Wisconsin

LCS 15 USS Billings

?

Marinette Marine Corporation, Marinette, Wisconsin

LCS 17 USS Indianapolis

?

Marinette Marine Corporation, Marinette, Wisconsin

 

Specifications:

Displacement:

3000 tons (full load)

Length:

115,30 meters

Beam:

17,50 meters

Draft:

3,90 meters (full load)

Max Speed:

40+ knots (= 75+ km/h)

Propulsion:

2 x Rolls-Royce MT30 gas turbines (96550 hp)

2 x Colt-Pielstick 16PA6B diesel engines (17160 hp)

4 x Rolls-Royce Kamewa 153SII steerable waterjets

Aviation:

2 x MH-60R/S helicopters or

1 x MH-60 and 3 x MQ-8 Fire Scout VTUAV’s

Range :

3500 nmi (6500 km) at 18 knots (33 km/h)

Complement:

40 core crew / accommodations for 75

Armament:

1 Mk-110 57mm gun weapon system

1 Mk-49 missile launching system for RIM-116 Rolling Airframe Missiles (RAM)

 

& various mission modules (Mine Warfare, Anti-Submarine, Surface Warfare):

-        Mk-46 30mm gun weapon system

-        RIM-162 ESSM missiles in VLS module (32 missiles)

-        RGM-84 Harpoon SSM (8 missiles)

-        Torpedoes

-        Mk-15 CIWS

-        Griffin-B missiles

 

Armament:

 

Freedom class littoral combat ship LCS armament Mk-49 missile launcher rolling airframe missile RAM mission modules MK-110 gun system

 

Freedom class littoral combat ship LCS armament Mk-110 gun Mk-46 30mm gun system Mk-49 missile launcher RIM-116 rolling airframe missile RAM

in example with 2 x Mk-46 30mm gun system modules (surface warfare mission package)

 

lcs freedom class littoral combat ship us navy fort worth mission modules

LCS 3 USS Fort Worth with 3 spaces for mission modules

 

 

class images:

 

freedom class littoral combat ship lcs bridge helm

 

Freedom class littoral combat ship LCS-1 US Navy

(Lockheed Martin photo via NNS)

 

Freedom class littoral combat ship LCS Marinette Marine Systems Lockheed Martin

(Lockheed Martin photo via NNS)

 

LCS Freedom class littoral combat ship

(Lockheed Martin photo via NNS)

 

Freedom class littoral combat ship LCS

(Lockheed Martin photo via NNS)

 

Freedom class LCS

(Lockheed Martin photo via NNS)

 

LCS-1 Freedom class littoral combat ship US Navy

(Lockheed Martin photo via NNS)

 

Freedom class littoral combat ship LCS Marinette Marine Systems Lockheed Martin

(Lockheed Martin photo via NNS)

 

Freedom class littoral combat ship LCS

(Lockheed Martin photo via NNS)

 

LCS-1 USS Freedom class littoral combat ship US Navy

(Lockheed Martin photo via NNS)

 

Freedom class LCS

(Lockheed Martin photo via NNS)

 

Freedom class littoral combat ship LCS-1 flight deck US Navy

(Lockheed Martin photo via NNS)

 

 

freedom class littoral combat ship lcs stern gate

 

lcsfreedom class littoral combat ship flight deck hangar

 

freedom class littoral combat ship lcs flight deck

 

 

freedom class littoral combat ship lcs rolling airframe missile mk-46 gun system

 

lcs freedom class littoral combat ship

 

freedom class lcs littoral combat ship us navy

 

 

lcs freedom class littoral combat ship

 

freedom class littoral combat ship lcs

 

freedom class littoral combat ship lcs

 

freedom class littoral combat ship us navy

 

lcs freedom class

 

 

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