The Navy rolled out its new Mine Warfare Mission Package for the Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) in a ceremony on Sept. 14 at the ARINC Engineering Services facility
near Naval Surface Warfare Center (NSWC) Panama City, Fla. Congressman F. Allen Boyd, Jr. (D-Fla.-2), leader of the Mine Warfare Caucus, Dr. Delores Etter, Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Research, Development and Acquisition, and James Thomsen, Program Executive Officer Littoral and Mine Warfare, all spoke at the event.
"These mission modules will revolutionize warfighting in the littorals and will fill critical requirement gaps that exist in the fleet today. We urgently need them as we continue to fight the Global War on Terrorism," said Etter. "I am extremely proud to be here for the rollout of the first Mine Warfare Mission Package. This is a momentous occasion."
The Mine Warfare Mission Package is composed of sensors, weapons, unmanned vehicle technology and aircraft to locate, identify and destroy mines. It is designed to allow the Navy to clear sea mines, land U.S. Joint forces on hostile shores and operate ships in coastal areas known as the littorals.
The Mine Warfare Mission Package is modular, scalable and allows the Navy to stay ahead of the threat and assure safe passage for commercial and military vessels. The LCS seaframe hosts a single focused Mission Package to counter Mine Warfare (MCM), Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) or Surface Warfare (SUW) littoral threats.
MCM, ASW & SUW asymmetric littoral threats are a significant challenge to freedom of navigation for commercial and naval shipping. LCS Mission Modules will transform warfighting in the littorals. It will allow the Navy to rapidly engage hostile submarines while the ship stays at stand-off ranges and defeat swarming small boat and patrol craft attacks.
A LCS Mission Package is a combination of modular mission capabilities, aircraft and manpower detachments. Modular mission capabilities include sensors or weapons hosted on an unmanned vehicle or aircraft with necessary support equipment packaged in support containers and vehicle cradles capable of meeting standard interface specifications with the LCS seaframe. Mission Package Computing Environment hardware and necessary communications equipment is permanently installed on the seaframe and networked with the Total Ships Computing Environment to support mission planning, execution, post mission analysis and provide tactical picture data exchange with the seaframe.
"The delivery of the Mine Warfare Mission Package provides a significant step forward in assuring access in the littorals for U.S. Joint Forces," said Thomsen.
The Mine Warfare Mission Package will
begin operating on the first LCS when
the ship is delivered to the Navy next year. The individual mission modules that make up the Mine Warfare Mission Package are optimized for the LCS seaframe, but can operate independently on other platforms if needed.