June 24, 2010

Littoral Combat Ship

Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) High-Speed Surface Ship

Key Data

Hull Service Life
30 years
Draft at Full Load Displacement
Sprint Speed in Sea State 3
Range at Sprint Speed with Full Payload
Range at Economical Speed
Economical Speed
Crew Size
15 to 50 core crew
Accommodation for Core and Mission Crew
Operational Availability

Aviation Facilities:

Embark and Hangar
1 x MH-60R/S and VTUAVs
Flight Deck
Aircraft Launch and Recovery
Up to Sea State 5
Watercraft Launch and Recovery
Sea State 4, in 15 minutes
Watercraft Mission Packages
11m RHIB, 40ft high-speed boats
Time for Change of Mission Packages
One day
Ship and Crew Provisions
21 days (336 hours)
Underway Replenishment
180t including 105t mission packages and 75t mission package fuel

The littoral combat ship (LCS) is the first of a new family of surface ships for the US Navy. The LCS is a fast, highly manoeuverable, networked surface combat ship, which is a specialised variant of the family of US future surface combat ships known as DD(X). LCS is designed to satisfy the urgent requirement for shallow draft vessels to operate in the littoral (coastal waters) to counter growing potential 'asymmetric' threats of coastal mines, quiet diesel submarines and the potential to carry explosives and terrorists on small, fast, armed boats.
In May 2004, the United States Department of Defense and the US Navy announced the selection of two separate defense contracting teams led by Lockheed Martin and General Dynamics to each carry out system design and options for the detailed design and construction of two flight 0, or first-generation, LCS ships.

Lockheed Martin received a contract for the first ship, LCS 1, in December 2004. The keel for LCS 1, to be called USS Freedom, was laid in June 2005 at the Marinette Marine shipyard in Wisconsin. It was launched in September 2006.
General Dynamics was awarded the contract for USS Independence, LCS 2, in October 2005. The keel was laid in January 2006 at the Austal USA shipyard in Mobile, Alabama. It was launched in April 2008 and christened in October 2008. The ship completed the builder's sea trials in October

2009 and was delivered to the USN in December 2009. It was commissioned in January 2010. Lockheed Martin was also to build LCS 3, USS Courage, to commission in 2009. The contract was awarded in June 2006 and the vessel was to begin construction in early 2007. However, in January 2007, the USN ordered Lockheed Martin to stop work on LCS 3. The USN wished to review the program because of concerns over cost increases incurred in the construction of USS Freedom. In April 2007, the USN terminated the contract for LCS 3. General Dynamics was also awarded the contract to build LCS 4, USS Liberty in December 2006. In October 2007, the US Navy also terminated the contract for this vessel.
In April 2008, the US Navy issued a request for proposals to the two companies for three LCS ships. It had previously been planned that orders would be placed for nine flight 1 (second-generation) LCS ships during 2008 and 2009, for ship commissioning during the period 2010 to 2012. The contract for the Coronado, LCS 4, was awarded to General Dynamics in April 2009. The keel was laid in December 2009. It is scheduled for delivery in June 2012. The numbers of LCS ships is not finalised but there has been speculation of 56 or up to 60 LCS ships, within a total US naval fleet of 375 ships.
The contract option awarded to Lockheed Martin is managed by Lockheed Martin's maritime systems and sensorsdivision in Moorestown, New Jersey. The Lockheed Martin team includes: Marinette Marine shipyard, Bollinger Shipyards, Gibbs and Cox naval architects, Izar of Spain and Blohm & Voss naval shipbuilders. The contract option awarded to General Dynamics is managed by Bath Iron Works at Bath, Maine.
The major members of General Dynamics team are: Austal USA, based in Mobile, Alabama (a subsidiary of Austal Ships of Australia); BAE Systems, Rockville, Maryland; Maritime Applied Physics Corporation, Baltimore, Maryland; CAE Marine Systems, Leesburg, Virginia; Northrop Grumman Electronic Systems, Baltimore, Maryland; General Dynamics Armament and Technical Products, Burlington, Vermont; General Dynamics Electric Boat, Gorton, Connecticut; General Dynamics Advanced Information Systems, Washington, DC; and General Dynamics Canada, Ottawa, Ontario.
In April 2005, the US Navy awarded a foreign military sales contract to Lockheed Martin to conduct a nine-month feasibility study to examine possible modifications to the Lockheed Martin LCS design to meet the requirements of the Israeli Navy. The study concentrated on hull, mechanical and electrical system compatibility. The Israeli Navy requirement includes the mk41 vertical-launch system for Barak missiles. The contract was extended in November 2007 to include technical specification and costs for the combat system. In July 2008, Israel requested the foreign military sale (FMS) of up to four vessels of the LCS 1 variant.

Littoral combat ship design

The two designs are quite different, although both satisfy the top-level pe

rformance requirements and technical requirements of the LCS programme. Both achieve sprint speeds of over 40kt and long-range transit distances of over 3,500 miles. The Lockheed Martin design is a high-speed semi-planing monohull. The General Dynamics design is a trimaran with a slender stabilised monohull.
The sea frames of both designs accommodate the equipment and crew for core LCS missions and special missions. They are both capable of the effective launch, control and recovery of vehicles for extended periods, however the strategy for launch and recovery for waterborne craft and for aircraft are different in the two designs. The two designs also use very different approaches for incorporating reconfigurable internal volume.
The design approach for the second-generation LCS, flight 1, ship acquisition is flexible and will take into consideration the experience gained in the flight 0 designs. In both designs, the sprint speed of 40kt to 50kt results in the body of the hull being lifted out of the water as much as possible. The Lockheed Martin design of the monohull lifts the body of the hull. The General Dynamics trimaran design, with the slender stabilised monohull, uses two outriggers which move the displacement upwards and reduce the wetted surface. The shaping of the hull in both design strategies gives signature reduction. The designs of both ships continue to evolve with changes in the design proposals.

Core capabilities of the littoral combat ship

A full load displacement draft of 10ft allows the ships to access very shallow waters. The ships will have a top speed of about 50kt and the range at sprint speed is 1,500nm. At an economical speed of 20kt, the range is 4,300nm.
The ships are configured with a helicopter deck and hangar. The deck is capable of the launch and recovery of the MH-60R/S helicopter and a tactical unmanned air vehicle. The ships can carry out aircraft launch and recovery in conditions up to sea state 5, i.e. in winds up to 27kt and average wave heights between 6.4ft and 9.6ft. The ships will be capable of launching and recovering watercraft, for example 40ft high-speed boats, within 15 minutes in conditions of sea state 4, i.e. waves up to 5ft and winds up to 21kt.
General Dynamics Robot Systems was awarded a US Navy contract to develop the common launch and recovery system (CLRS) of unmanned and other watercraft for the LCS in July 2008. The ships will carry provisions for 21 days before replenishments and will also be able to replenish underway. The crew size will be between 15 and 50 and accommodation is provided for up to 75 ship and special mission crew. The operational availability will be 95%. A core capability will be the deployment of Fire Scout unmanned air vehicle and the unmanned ribbed boat, Spartan unmanned surface vehicle, equipped with a basic payload of navigation radar, infrared camera and video camera.

Littoral combat ship mission modules

The mission modules will have the capability to be changed, tested and working within24h. Northrop Grumman has been appointed as mission package integrator. The mission packages will be: mine warfare (MIW), anti-submarine warfare (ASW) and anti-surface warfare (SUW). The mission modules may be integrated into standard-sized containers that can be installed in the ship and other systems will be transferred onto the ship on pallets. The mission systems will be connected to the ship's network and communicate with the other ship systems and other surface ships and aircraft.
The MIW module includes: the AN/WLD-1 remote minehunting system, AN/AQS-20A sonar mine detecting set, organic airborne surface influence sweep, airborne laser mine detection system and airborne mine neutralisation system. The ASW module includes the Sea TALON (tactical littoral ocean network) undersea surveillance system, being developed by Lockheed Martin Maritime Systems & Sensors, which integrates a range of acoustic sensors with semi-submersible vehicles and network-centric communications.
Passive sensors include the advanced deployable system (ADS), a rapidly deployable bottom array acoustic surveillance system. The semi-submersible, the AN/WLD-1 with an ASW mission system, tows a remote towed active source (RTAS), a multiband transducer with a remote towed array multi-function sonar. The ASW module also includes systems to be deployed from the MH-60R helicopter (mk54 torpedoes, sonobuoys, Raytheon AN/AQS-22 airborne low-frequency sonar) and unmanned surface vehicles, USVs (dipping sonar, multi-static active sonar and ULITE ultra-lightweight towed array). General Dynamics Robotics was awarded a contract for four USVs for the ASW module in October 2006.

The 11m Fleet Class USV weighs about 7.7t, has a payload of about 2,270kg, speed of35kt and is capable of operating continuously for over 24h. The SUW module includes a General Dynamics mk46 30mm cannon (also used in the rapid airborne mine clearance system and the US Marine Corps expeditionary fighting vehicle), which fires at up to 200 rounds a minute, and a version of the US Army's non-line of sight - precision attack munition missile system. The NLOS launch system and precision attack missile are being jointly developed by Lockheed Martin and Raytheon. The direct attack missile has a dual-mode uncooled infrared and semi-active laser seeker, multimode warhead and range up to 40km. The MH-60R is armed with guns and Hellfire missiles.
Littoral combat ship gun
Both General Dynamics and Lockheed Martin vessels are armed with BAE Systems Land and Armaments (formerly United Defense) mk110 57mm naval gun system. The mk110 fires mk295 ammunition at a rate of 220 rounds a minute to a range of 14km (nine miles).

General Dynamics trimaran

The slender stabilised trimaran monohull proposed by the GeneralDynamics team has an overall length of 127.8m, maximum beam of 28.4m and full load displacement of 2,637t. The seaframe is based on Austal's design for the Benchijigua Express passenger / car ferry.
A naval forward looking infrared is fitted above the bridge. The Raytheon SeaRAM anti-ship missile defence system is installed on the hangar roof. SeaRAM combines the sensors of the Phalanx 1B close-in weapon system but replaces the 20mm gun with an 11-missile launcher for the rolling airframe missile (RAM). 50-calibre machine gun mounts are installed port and starboard on the walkway on either side of the hangar and at the stern just below the level of the stern helicopter deck. The decoy systems include three Super RBOCs and two Nulka decoy launchers. The countermeasures suite will include ES 3601 tactical radar electronic support measures (ESM) from EDO Corp. The towed sonar and towed decoys
are launched from the stern of the ship. Northrop Grumman Electronic Systems will provide the integrated combat management system (ICMS), BAE Systems Electronic Systems will provide the radio communications system and CAE Marine Systems will supply the automated ship control system. The main mast carries the Link 16, Link 1, CEC, and the Saab Microwave Systems (formerly Ericsson) Sea Giraffe radar.

Lockheed Martin semi-planing monohull

Lockheed Martin's advanced semi-planing seaframe is based on technologies introduced by Italian shipbuilder Fincantieri on the 1,000t Destrier commercial vessel, which holds the transatlantic speed record, and the 3,000t Jupiter class.
The ship has a steel hull with aluminium superstructure and will be powered by two Rolls-Royce MT30 36MW gas turbines and two Fairbanks Morse Colt-Pielstick 16
PA6B STC diesel engines driving four large, acoustically optimised Rolls-Royce waterjets. Four Isotta Fraschini Model V1708 ship service diesel generator sets provide auxiliary power. Fincantieri Marine Systems North America Inc is supplying the ride control system.The ship's maximum speed is 45kt. The overall length is 115.5m. The maximum beam width is 13.1m and the draft is 3.7m.The vessel has automated stern doors, stern ramp, side launch doors and overheadcrane for the launch and recovery of manned and unmanned vessels.
The combat management system is the Lockheed Martin COMBATSS-21, based on open architecture. The ships will be equipped with EADS TRS-3D C-band radar for air and surface surveillance and weapon assignment and the soft-kill weapon system (SKWS) decoy launcher from Terma A/S of Denmark.