Littoral Combat Ship (LCS)

Product Type:

Combat Ship (Close-to-Shore Operations)

Using Service (US):

Navy

Program Status:

In Production

Prime Contractors:

Lockheed Martin Corporation
Austal USA
General Dynamics - Bath Iron Works

Both Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) classes

About the Littoral Combat Ship:





The Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) is a fast, agile, and stealthy naval platform designed for operation in near-shore (littoral) environments. The LCS is designed to defeat threats such as mines, submarines, and fast surface craft. The ships are outfitted with interchangable mission equipment suited to the task at hand.

The LCS comes in two variants, the Freedom Class and the Independence Class. The Freedom Class is powered by two Rolls-Royce MT30 marine gas turbine engines, each delivering 36MW. The Independence Class is powered by two General Electric LM2500 marine gas turbine engines, each rated at 25MW.

The Freedom variant (LCS 1, LCS 3, LCS 5, LCS 7, LCS 9, LCS 11 and beyond) is built in Marinette, Wisconsin by a Lockheed Martin-led team, which includes ship builder Marinette Marine Corporation and naval architect Gibbs & Cox. The Independence variant (LCS 2 and LCS 4) was built by Bath Iron Works (BIW) - General Dynamics and Austal USA with BIW as prime contractor. Subsequent Independence Class ships (LCS 6, LCS 8, LCS 10, LCS 12 and beyond) are built by Austal USA in Mobile, Alabama. For the full list of LCS ships + names, see specifications at bottom of page.

The main differences between the two LCS classes are (apart from having different engines as described above) in the construction of the ships as well as the size. The Independence Class LCS has an aluminum trimaran hull, which incorporates more than one million pounds of high-quality aluminum 5083-alloy aluminum plate (supplied by Alcoa). The Freedom Class is designed with an advanced semiplaning steel monohull. The Independence Class is longer than the Freedom Class LCS at 419.6 feet (127.6 m) vs. 378.3 feet (115.3 m). The Independence Class is also wider and has a beam (beam = width at the widest point) of 103.7 feet (31.6 m) vs. 57.4 feet (17.5 m) for the Freedom Class. In terms of weight, the Independence Class is 188 metric tons lighter due to the high aluminum content. The Freedom Class is the fastest LCS variant at 47 knots (54 mph/87 km/h) vs. 44 knots (51 mph/81 km/h) for the Independence Class.

The LCS is outfitted with interchangeable payloads called Mission Modules that can quickly be switched. Modules are supported by special detachments that will deploy manned and unmanned vehicles and sensors in support of LCS missions. The three mission module configurations are Mine Countermeasures Mission (MCM), Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW), and Anti-Surface Warfare (ASuW).

The Littoral Combat Ship has enough hangar space to carry two MH-60R Seahawk or MH-60S Seahawk helicopters or one MH-60R/S Seahawk and three Vertical Takeoff UAVs (MQ-8 Fire Scout).

LCS also provides inherent capabilities regardless of mission module, including Intelligence Surveillance Reconnaissance (ISR), homeland defense, Maritime Interdiction/Interception Operations (MIO), anti-terrorism/force protection (AT/FP), air self-defense, joint littoral mobility, and Special Operating Forces (SOF), and logistic support for movement of personnel and supplies. The LCS will complement the U.S. Navy's AEGIS fleet, by operating in close-to-shore environments where it is less desirable to employ larger vessels.

Initiated in February 2002, the LCS program represents a significant reduction in time to acquire, design, and build ships relative to any previous ship class. The first Littoral Combat Ship, USS Freedom (LCS 1), was delivered to the Navy in September 2008. The Lockheed Martin LCS Team designed and produced LCS-1 in less than 2 years allowing the Navy to deploy the USS Freedom two years early in February 2010. USS Independence (LCS 2), built by Bath Iron Works and Austal, was commissioned in January 2010. In March 2009, the Navy awarded Lockheed Martin a contract to build LCS 3, the USS Fort Worth. In May 2009, Bath Iron Works and Austal USA were awarded a contract to build the second Independence Class LCS, the USS Coronado (LCS 4).

In December 2010, Lockheed Martin and Austal USA were both awarded contracts to construct up to 10 additional ships each. The first of the 20 ships was acquired in 2010 and the rest will be purchased through 2015 via options.

On March 10, 2014, the U.S. Navy awarded Lockheed Martin and Austal USA contracts worth nearly $1.4 billion for four more Littoral Combat Ships. Lockheed Martin was awarded $699 million to build two more of its Freedom Class steel monohull-design ships, while Austal won a $684 million contract for two more of its Independence Class aluminum-trimaran-design vessels. On April 1, 2015, the U.S. Navy awarded Lockheed Martin a $362 million contract modification for one fully funded 2015 LCS along with $79 million in advance procurement funding for a second ship. On April 1, 2015, the Navy also awarded Austal USA a $691 million contract modification for two LCS ships.

The U.S. Navy plans to acquire a total of 32 LCS ships (2 development and 30 production). In February 2014, Defense Secretary, Chuck Hagel announced the DoD's plans to stop building LCS ships after 32 vessels (52 vessels originally planned) and instead purchase 20 ships (classified as frigates) with more firepower and protection. The Navy is aiming to be ready with an RFP and technical data package for the new frigate by FY 2017, so that it can purchase the first two ships in FY 2019. To become a frigate, the modified LCS will be equipped with the Mk 38 25mm Machine Gun System (MGS) from BAE Systems, the Multi-Function Towed Array detection system, a torpedo decoy and the Raytheon SeaRAM Anti-ship missile defense system to conduct anti-submarine and surface warfare simultaneously. The frigates will also come with improved armor and signature management for self-protection.



Armament/Ship Self-Defense:

The LCS is equipped with a BAE Systems Mk 110 57mm gun, two Alliant Techsystems Mk 44 Bushmaster II 30mm chain guns, four .50 caliber (12.7mm) machine guns, and one Raytheon Mk 49 RAM Guided Missile Launching System (GMLS) with 21 RIM-116 Rolling Airframe Missiles. For more detail, see specifications at the end of this page.



Price/Unit Cost:

The unit cost of a Littoral Combat Ship is $475.7 million (FY 2015 end cost).



Total Cost - Life of Program (LoP):

The total procurement cost of the Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) program - including Mission Modules - is $24.21 billion (official DoD estimate) + $5.46 billion in research and development (RDT&E) funds, which means the total estimated program cost is $29.67 billion (numbers are aggregated annual funds spent over the life of the program and no price/inflation adjustment was made). This figure excludes military construction (MILCON) costs in support of the program in the amount of $257.4 million.



Mission/Role:

The Littoral Combat Ship performs Mine Warfare (MIW), Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW), and Anti-Surface Warfare (ASuW) missions. The ship is designed to defeat threats such as mines, quiet diesel submarines, and fast surface craft.



FY 2015 DoD Program:

Funds the construction of three LCS seaframes at a cost of $1,507.1 million. Procurement funds in the amount of $1,782.8 million have been provided for the LCS Program.



FY 2016 DoD Program:

Funds the construction of three LCS seaframes at a cost of $1,357.0 million. Procurement funds in the amount of $1,749.7 million have been provided for the LCS Program.

For more information, click to see the Navy FY 2016 Littoral Combat Ship Procurement Budget.




Source: U.S. Department of Defense (DoD), Lockheed Martin Corp.,
General Dynamics BIW, Austal USA, Marinette Marine Corp., General Electric,
and Rolls-Royce plc.

Specifications Armament DoD Spending FY2016 Budget

Last Update: September 20, 2015.

By Joakim Kasper Oestergaard Balle /// (jkasper@bga-aeroweb.com)

External Resources:



Lockheed Martin: LCS Freedom Class
Austal USA: LCS Independence Class
General Dynamics: Independence Class LCS

General Electric: LM2500 marine gas turbine engine
Rolls-Royce: MT30 marine gas turbine engine

YouTube: Littoral Combat Ship | YouTube Videos

Fact Sheet: LCS Freedom Class | Fact Sheet
Fact Sheet: LCS Independence Class | Fact Sheet

Total LCS Program Cost:

 $29.67 billion  ($24.21B procurement + $5.46B RDT&E)

LCS Procurement Objective:

  32 ships  (30 production / 2 development)

LCS U.S. Defense Budget Charts:

DoD Spending on the Littoral Combat Ship in FY 2012, FY 2013, FY 2014, FY 2015 and FY 2016
DoD Purchases of Littoral Combat Ships in FY 2012, FY 2013, FY 2014, FY 2015 and FY 2016
Defense Budget Data

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DoD Spending, Procurement and RDT&E: FY 2012/13/14 + Budget for FYs 2015 + 2016

DoD Defense Spending, Procurement, Modifications, Spares, and RDT&E for the Littoral Combat Ship

Download Official U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) Budget Data:

Shipbuilding | Littoral Combat Ship RDT&E: Littoral Combat Ship RDT&E: LCS Mission Modules
Specifications

Specifications: Littoral Combat Ship (LCS)

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Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) | Freedom Class

Primary Function: Mine Warfare (MIW), Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW), and Anti-Surface Warfare (ASuW)
Prime Contractor: Lockheed Martin Corporation
Hull: Advanced semiplaning steel monohull
Propulsion: 2x Rolls-Royce MT30 marine gas turbine engines with 36 MW (each),
2x Colt-Pielstick diesel engines, and 4x Rolls-Royce waterjets.
Length: 378.3 ft (115.3 m)
Beam: 57.4 ft (17.5 m)
Draft: 13.5 ft (4.11 m)
Full Load Displacement: 3,292 metric tons
Speed: 47 kts/54 mph (87 km/h)
Range: 3,500 nm/4,028 miles (6,482 km)
Hangar Space: 2x MH-60R/MH-60S Seahawk helicopters or 1x MH-60R/S Seahawk helicopter and 3x MQ-8 Fire Scout
Flight Deck Capacity: 1x CH/MH-53 helicopter or 2x MH-60R/MH-60S Seahawk helicopters
Armament/Ship Self-Defense: 1x Raytheon Mk 49 RAM launching system with 21x RIM-116 Rolling Airframe Missiles;
1x BAE Systems Mk 110 57mm gun; 2x Alliant Techsystems Mk 44 Bushmaster II 30mm chain guns;
and 4x .50 caliber (12.7mm) machine guns
Crew: 45 (8 officers and 37 enlisted)
Price/Unit Cost: $475.7 million end cost (FY 2015)
Deployed: February 16, 2010

Ships:


USS Freedom (LCS 1), San Diego, CA - In service
USS Fort Worth (LCS 3), San Diego, CA - In service
USS Milwaukee (LCS 5) - Under construction
USS Detroit (LCS 7) - Under construction
USS Little Rock (LCS 9) - Under construction
USS Sioux City (LCS 11) - Under construction
USS Wichita (LCS 13) - Under construction
USS Billings (LCS 15) - Under construction
USS Indianapolis (LCS 17) - Under construction
USS St. Louis (LCS 19) - Planned
USS Minneapolis/St. Paul (LCS 21) - Planned
USS Cooperstown (LCS 23) - Planned

Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) | Independence Class

Primary Function: Mine Warfare (MIW), Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW), and Anti-Surface Warfare (ASuW)
Prime Contractor: Austal USA
Hull: Trimaran hull - aluminum superstructure
Propulsion: 2x General Electric LM2500 marine gas turbine engines with 25 MW (each),
2x MTU 20V 8000 M90 diesel engines, and 4x Wartsila steerable waterjets.
Length: 419.6 ft (127.6 m)
Beam: 103.7 ft (31.6 m)
Draft: 13 ft (3.96 m)
Full Load Displacement: 3,104 metric tons
Speed: 44 kts/51 mph (81 km/h)
Range: 4,300 nm/4,948 miles (7,964 km)
Hangar Space: 2x MH-60R/MH-60S Seahawk helicopters or 1x MH-60R/S Seahawk helicopter and 3x MQ-8 Fire Scout
Flight Deck Capacity: 1x CH/MH-53 helicopter or 2x MH-60R/MH-60S Seahawk helicopters
Armament/Ship Self-Defense: 1x Raytheon Mk 49 RAM launching system with 21x RIM-116 Rolling Airframe Missiles;
1x BAE Systems Mk 110 57mm Close In Weapon System (CIWS); 2x Alliant Techsystems Mk 44 Bushmaster II 30mm chain guns; and
4x .50 caliber (12.7mm) machine guns
Crew: 40 (8 officers and 32 enlisted)
Price/Unit Cost: $475.7 million end cost (in FY 2015)
Deployed: TBD

Ships:


USS Independence (LCS 2), San Diego, CA - In service
USS Coronado (LCS 4), San Diego, CA - In service
USS Jackson (LCS 6) - Delivered - to be commissioned on December 5, 2015
USS Montgomery (LCS 8) - Under construction
USS Gabrielle Giffords (LCS 10) - Under construction
USS Omaha (LCS 12) - Under construction
USS Manchester (LCS 14) - Under construction
USS Tulsa (LCS 16) - Under construction
USS Charleston (LCS 18) - Under construction
USS Cincinnati (LCS 20) - Planned
USS Kansas City (LCS 22) - Planned
USS Oakland (LCS 24) - Planned
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