What makes the USA’s Littoral Combat Ship designs truly different? They’re built with minimal fixed equipment and large empty spaces for modular gear, instead of a set array of weapons and mission electronics. Otherwise, they’re almost the size of Britain’s Type 23 frigates, and might well be classified as frigates, were it not for their shallow water design and equipment choices.
LCS is a great concept that has been marred by poor execution, and design decisions that have robbed it of flexibility in the one area where the ship is weakest. The US Navy is buying quite a few of them anyway, and so the capabilities of the ship’s mission packages will determine what kind of contribution they can make.