Inside the Littoral combat ship, one of the Navy’s most controversial warships

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The USS Freedom – the first littoral combat ship, or LCS – was decommissioned after only 13 years in the fleet. This decision appears to be at odds with the US Navy’s goal of building a force of 355 ships.

The LCS is designed for coastal areas or waters closer to shore. Large vessels find it difficult to operate in these areas due to the shallow water depth. But engine issues, mission module issues, and changing world conditions put the future of the ship in rough waters.

Several older littoral combat ships are also being decommissioned due to the high cost of upgrading them.

“At the end of the day, it’s a zero-sum game. Every dollar you spend on keeping those LCS is equal to $ 1 you can spend on those other, I think, higher priorities, ”said Rep. Adam Smith, D-Wash., Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee.

To increase the power of the ship, the Navy decided to add the naval strike missile to some of the warships. He also decided to designate certain ships for specific missions, unlike the quick and interchangeable mission modules that were envisioned during the design of the ship.

There are two variations of the Littoral combat ship: the Independence class, a fully aluminum trimaran, and the Freedom class, which is a more traditional steel hull with an aluminum superstructure.

“Independence has been very effective at deploying overseas to Singapore, you know, backyard to China,” said LCS 2 Squadron Commander Captain David Miller. “From the end of 2019, the Freedom class followed in the [U.S. Southern Command Area of Responsibility]. “

The Freedom-class was plagued by an engine problem with the combination gear, a complex machine that ensures that the ship’s multiple engines can work together. The Navy and Lockheed Martin are working to resolve the issue of future ships waiting to be commissioned in the fleet and those that have yet to be built.

“In a nutshell, we are on the right track to put this problem behind us and move forward with the future of the Freedom Class,” Miller said.

Watch the video above to see CNBC board the USS Milwaukee.


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