The Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) is designed to defeat growing littoral threats and provide access and dominance in the coastal water battlespace. A fast, maneuverable surface combatant, the LCS provides warfighting capabilities and operational flexibility for focused missions including mine-clearing, anti-submarine and anti-surface warfare. Led by prime contractor Lockheed Martin, the team includes naval architect Gibbs & Cox and ship builder Marinette Marine Corporation, a Fincantieri company, and hundreds of teammates around the world.
The Lockheed Martin team has designed and constructed two ships for this new class. The first ship, USS Freedom, was delivered to the Navy in 2008 and successfully completed its first deployment in 2010, two years ahead of schedule. Freedom is currently preparing for deployment to Singapore in 2013.
USS Fort Worth, the team’s second LCS, was delivered two months early and then commissioned into the fleet on Sept. 22 following her successful Navy acceptance trials in the spring. Improvements made from lessons learned on the first LCS to Fort Worth include improved fuel efficiency and speed via waterjet tunnel extensions, reduced weight, improved satellite and launch, recovery and handling systems and landing aids with advanced night vision capability.
The team’s next two ships – the Milwaukee (LCS 5) and the Detroit (LCS 7) – are currently under construction. In March, the Navy issued a contract modification to the Lockheed Martin team to build the Little Rock (LCS 9) and Sioux City (LCS 11) as part of the Navy’s revised 2010 acquisition strategy. The strategy calls for 10 ships to be awarded to the Lockheed Martin-led team between 2010 and 2015.
LCS is a critically important shipbuilding program for the US Navy to defend our national interests and demands the best skill and effort from industry teams to be successful.
What It Replaces
The 55 LCS-class ships will replace 30 FFG-7 Oliver Hazard Perry Class frigates, 14 MCM Avenger Class mine countermeasures vessels, 12 MHC-51 Osprey Class coastal mine hunters.
Unique Manning Concept
As designed, LCS operates with considerably less manning (40 core sailors) plus support crew for the aviation and mission packages to operate the reconfigurable mission modules.
The LCS platform is flexible and reconfigurable. In theater, the LCS acts as a hub – tying together sea, air and land assets. When deployed to address a threat, a ship can be reconfigured for a specific mission in days. Three mission packages include: Mine Warfare, Anti-Submarine Warfare, and Surface Warfare.
- Anti-submarine package elements include: MH-60 Romeo carrying an active dipping sonar, sonobuoys and heavy-weight torpedos.
- Mine countermeasures package requires two operators, and searches twice as fast as legacy systems. Elements include: the Remote Multi-Mission Vehicle, AQS-20A Variable Depth Sonar, Launch & Recovery Subsystem.
- The surface warfare package provides fleet protection from small boats and other asymmetric threats. Includes Gun Mission Module MK 50 MOD, a Non-Line of Sight Launch System Mission Module, a MH-60R Helicopter, Vertical Takeoff Unmanned Aerial Vehicles and a Maritime Security Module.
Maintenance and Sustainment
Driving down costs in areas like transportation, upkeep and storage
Lockheed Martin-led LCS team has been building the foundation to sustainment efforts to performance-based environment. We selected the most qualified, cost-effective suppliers to address inventory and spares management and obsolescence.
Worldwide maintenance support
With Lockheed Martin’s global network of industrial partners’ maintenance and depot facilities, the LCS can be serviced in areas not fully supported by U.S. infrastructure.
Streamlined, automated enterprise logistics
Lockheed Martin is establishing the foundation for extensive condition-based maintenance implementation in the near future – a cornerstone of affordability.
This contract award of 10 ships to the Lockheed Martin/Marinette Marine / Gibbs & Cox team provides significant economic benefits. An economic impact study on the program found that it at the program’s peak (2014, delivering two ships/year), the Lockheed Martin/Marinette Marine LCS program can generate nearly 13,000 jobs across the nation.
Supporting Local Business
With more than 700 suppliers in 43 states, LCS subcontractors include Rolls Royce, Fairbanks Morse, BAE, EADS and Raytheon, among others. The Marinette Marine shipyard is expanding its facilities and hiring more employees in the next few years to support production of two LCSs per year.