This is the LCS2, USS Independence, the US Navy's latest coastal warcraft. LCS stands for Littoral Combat Ship - it is designed to operate in relatively shallow coastal (littoral) waters. Allegedly it will do sixty knots (almost 70 mph) and has a very large storage area to support a wide variety of missions. The LCS class are made for launching helicopters and lightly-armored vehicles, sweeping mines and launching torpedoes and missiles.
These ships are also relatively inexpensive. The LCS2 was built at a cost of $208 million and the Navy plans to build 55 of them at a total cost of $11.44 billion.
These ships are considerably cheaper to build, maintain and update than the 84 Aegis class cruisers and destroyers currently in service, meets a different service requirement and replaces the smaller Navy corvettes and frigates. The LCS mission:
[...]to counter growing “asymmetric” threats like coastal mines, quiet diesel submarines, global piracy, and terrorists on small fast attack boats. It also requires intelligence gathering and scouting, some ground combat support capabilities, and the ability to act as a local command node, sharing tactical information with other Navy aircraft, ships, submarines, and joint units.With a very shallow draft due to it's unique hull design, this ship can also operate in rivers.
At the same time, however, the Navy needs ships that can act as low-end gap-fillers in other traditional fleet roles, and operate in the presence of missile-armed enemy vessels and/or aerial threats.
The Littoral Combat Ship concept spent some time in the making and does have its detractors.
Naval analyst Raymond Pritchett has pithily described the current compromise as:This is the Swedish corvette Helsingborg.
”...3000 ton speedboat chasers with the endurance of a Swedish corvette, the weapon payload of a German logistics ship, and the cargo hold of a small North Korean arms smuggler.”
Guess you can't keep everybody happy.
Found a video of the Independence.
At the 25 sec. mark, look at the left turn this ship is making. Almost like a car. Simply amazing. Using similar hull /propulsion technology the Swede's can have their ship come to a dead stop from 40 knots in a few hundred feet or less.