December 18, 2011

USS Independence

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.

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.
 With a very shallow draft due to it's unique hull design, this ship can also operate in rivers.

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:

”...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.”
This is the Swedish corvette Helsingborg.

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.


WoFat said...

Surf's up!

Supi said...

They are beautiful.

sig94 said...

WoFat - could be. Hanging ten with a 3,500 ton missile clad boogie board, eh?

sig94 said...

Supi - I think that was the word I was looking for when I first saw these vessels.

There is something in the design that makes them very pleasing to the eye. I felt the same way the first time I saw Sophia Loren.

Except a little less excited...

Woodsterman (Odie) said...

Cool ride!

banned said...

You would think that as an island nation with many river we in Britain would have some of these. Sadly, we do not, bloody socialists.

banned said...

btw "blogger" is increasingly demanding my mobile (cell) phone number which I don't wish to give it, so if I suddenly disappear that will be why.

Capt. Schmoe said...

Is this the LCS that had to be returned to dry dock a mere 18 months after commission due to "aggressive corrosion"?

The one that is having whole chunks of her hull replaced because the metal has completely disappeared?

The one that had had several critical weapons and other systems omitted in order to keep the per-unit cost down - including cathodic electrolysis protection?

The one who's hull is built to commercial structural standards rather than naval?

Sorry, in the age of the U.S.S. Cole and of China, North Korea and Russia (among others) exporting sophisticated weapons systems to any one with a few million bucks this ship really doesn't make sense.

sig94 said...

Capt - apparently those are not the only problems this craft has experienced. The propulsion system also had "issues" and there was a cost overrun of $500 million. The ship cost over three times what is was originally speced for.

More here:

Kid said...

I think it is meant to carry an F35 as well, which can do vertical take off and landing.

Capt. Schmoe said...

Sig94 - My fear is that this project was designed around unrealistic budget restraints and unrealistic performance expectations. The result is something that meets neither requirement. Our sailors will pay, possibly in blood.

They deserve better.

The Underground Pewster said...

This puts a new price tag on "They were expendable."

sig94 said...

Capt Schmoe and Pewster - this reminds me of the Mark 14 submarine torpedoes that the US Navy used at the beginning of WWII.

There were problems with the depth sensor and the contact/magnetic detonators. For half the war our submarine crews were put at substantial risk because of these defective POS torpedoes.

Depression era budget constraints before the war when these weapons were tested was the primary problem. They tried to cheap it out.

Sugu said...

Thank you,
The given information is very effective.
I’ll keep updated with it.

Deccan Odyssey

Anonymous said...

Saw this ship off of St. Augustine FL last October running exercises with a small team of boats. When I got back to shore, searched on the internet to find out what it was but couldn't find anything. Now I know. :^)