25 September 2006

"Freedom", First LCS Commissioned

The first Littoral Combat Ship, christened "Freedom" was commissioned yesterday. It is about 3,000 tons in displacement, a little smaller than the Oliver Hazard Perry class Frigates which the Navy is phasing out, although larger than some of the anti-mine warfare ships the Navy is removing from its fleet. It has a core crew of 40 and additional crew associated with the particular mission it is dispatched to carry out.

It marks the first new ship design in decades dedicated to coastal, as opposed to blue sea operations. It is designed to address most of the urgent gaps in the U.S. Navy: mine warfare, anti-submarine warfare, and interdiction of smaller or unarmed ships. It is basically a concept ship, in a two design contest.

The Freedom looks like a speedboat on steriods. The second LCS, the Independence, will be a 419-foot trimaran.

Once each team makes two ships, the plan is for the Navy to decide on one of the designs and purchase dozens of them, at about a fifth of the cost of most of the surface combatants in the existing fleet.

1 comment:

Ken Adams said...

Christened, not commissioned. She'll be commissioned sometime next year.