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Littoral Combat Ship

February 11, 2012 by staff 

Littoral Combat Ship, A littoral combat ship (LCS) is a type of relatively small surface vessel intended for operations in the littoral zone (close to shore). It is “envisioned to be a networked, agile, stealthy surface combatant capable of defeating anti-access and asymmetric threats in the littorals.” Two ship classes are the first examples of the LCS in the U.S. Navy: the Freedom-class and the Independence-class.

LCS designs are slightly smaller than the US Navy’s guided missile frigates, and have been likened to corvettes of other navies. However, the LCS designs add the capabilities of a small assault transport with a flight deck and hangar large enough to base two SH-60 Seahawk helicopters, the capability to recover and launch small boats from a stern ramp, and enough cargo volume and payload to deliver a small assault force with armoured fighting vehicles to a roll-on/roll-off port facility.

The standard armament for the LCS is Mk 110 57 mm guns. It will also be able to launch autonomous air, surface, and underwater vehicles. Although the LCS designs offer less air defense and surface-to-surface capabilities than comparable destroyers, the LCS concept emphasizes speed, flexible mission module space and a shallow draft.

The first Littoral Combat Ship, the USS Freedom (LCS-1), was commissioned on November 8, 2008 in Veteran’s Park, Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The second ship and first of the trimaran design, the USS Independence (LCS-2), was commissioned on January 16, 2010, in Mobile, Alabama.

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