Freedom Gets Underway
By Ned Lundquist
The U.S. Navy's new Littoral Combat Ship will be commissioned in ceremonies at , on Nov. 8, 2008.
LCS 1, christened Freedom, is the first of a new class of high-speed, modular and reconfigurable focused-mission ships. LCS is designed to counter threats including mines, quiet diesel submarines and fast, armed surface craft in the littoral or coastal regions of the world.
Built by Lockheed Martin (LMT) at Marinette Marine of , , Freedom recently completed builder's trials on , where the ship's diesel and gas turbine propulsion plant was tested along with communications, navigation and mission systems.
The Navy is building two different designs for LCS, each designed and built by different industry teams. The 378-ft. Freedom is a semi-planing monohull. General Dynamics is building LCS 2, , a trimaran, at Austal in The Navy plans to build 55 LCSs. Both ships will rely on mission packages that carry offboard systems and sensors to prosecute the particular focused mission. The mission packages are carried in modules which can be changed out relatively quickly to configure the ship for the mission as determined by the warfighting commander. These mission packages focus on three mission areas: mine counter measures (MCM), surface warfare (SUW) and anti-submarine warfare (ASW).
(Reprinted from the September 2008 edition of MarineNews)