LCS: The USA’s Littoral Combat Ships

GAO: LCS design changes

October 25/23: USS Beloit Lockheed Martin won a $21.9 million modification to exercise an option for industrial post-delivery availability support for the Freedom-variant Littoral Combat Ship USS Beloit (LCS 29). Work will be performed in Marinette, Wisconsin, and is expected to be completed by March 2025.

 

 

 

 

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Austal Team Trimaran LCS Design (click to enlarge) Exploit simplicity, numbers, the pace of technology development in electronics and robotics, and fast reconfiguration. That was the US Navy’s idea for the low-end backbone of its future surface combatant fleet. Inspired by successful experiments like Denmark’s Standard Flex ships, the US Navy’s $35+ billion “Littoral Combat Ship” program was intended to create a new generation of affordable surface combatants that could operate in dangerous shallow and near-shore environments, while remaining affordable and capable throughout their lifetimes. It hasn’t worked that way. In practice, the Navy hasn’t been able to reconcile what they wanted with the capabilities needed to perform primary naval missions, or with what could be delivered for the sums available. The LCS program has changed its fundamental acquisition plan 4 times since 2005, and canceled contracts with both competing teams during this period, without escaping any of its fundamental issues. Now, the program looks set to end early. This public-access FOCUS article offer a wealth of research material, alongside looks at the LCS program’s designs, industry teams procurement plans, military controversies, budgets and contracts. LCS: Concept & Needs LCS-I missions (click to view full) Ultimately, the US Navy is […]

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