Sea Control 33 – LCS Replacement

The idea behind Littoral Combat Ships (LCS) is that of a asymmetric adversary, who poses a threat from the littorals. The main characteristics of the LCS should be: networked, agile and stealthy. LCS should be easy to reconfigure for different roles, including anti-submarine warfare, mine countermeasures, anti-surface warfare, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, homeland defense, maritime intercept, special operations, and logistics. There are two different designs: the Freedom class by Lockheed Martin, which is said to be better able to launch and recover boats in high seas and the Independence class by General Dynamics and Austal, which is said to have better helicopter facilities and more internal space (cf.: Christopher P. Cavas, “LCS plan attacked, but gains support“, Navy Times, 15.12.2010).

LCS has been taking a beating, from the cut in production numbers from 52 to 32 ships to the recent U.S. House Armed Services Committee request to slow their rate of product. In Sea Control 33 Matthew Hipple discusses with Zack Howitt about his Proceedings article, “It’s Time for a Sea Control Frigate,” and his thoughts on what a replacement should look like, and what one might cost.

The littoral combat ship Pre-Commissioning Unit Coronado passes Naval Air Station North Island as it makes it way to its new home port at Naval Base San Diego on March 10, 2014 (Photo: Donnie W. Ryan / U.S. Navy).

The littoral combat ship Pre-Commissioning Unit Coronado passes Naval Air Station North Island as it makes it way to its new home port at Naval Base San Diego on March 10, 2014 (Photo: Donnie W. Ryan / U.S. Navy).

By the way, unfortunately, I wasn’t able to inform you about the publication of Sea Control 32 by Alexander Clarke, Principal Researcher of the Phoenix Think Tank because of occupational reasons. He discussed Naval Escorts with CDR Paul Fisher (Royal Navy, retired) and CIMSEC associate editor Chris Stockdale.

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CIMSECThe Center for International Maritime Security (CIMSEC) is a non-profit, non-partisan think tank. It was formed in 2012 to bring together forward-thinkers from a variety of fields to examine the capabilities, threats, hotspots, and opportunities for security in the maritime domain. Check out the NextWar blog to join the discussion. CIMSEC encourages a diversity of views and is currently accepting membership applications here.

This entry was posted in English, International, Sea Control, Sea Powers, Technology.

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