LCS Independence  (Source: GD)

LCS Independence  (Source: GD)
Navy sea trials of LCS Independence are complete

DailyTech previously published an article noting the United States Navy was planning on testing its Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) in trials after an aborted attempt and months of delay.

During testing, the General Dynamics-created Independence had an average speed of 44 knots, with a top speed of 45 knots.  The ship, which was tested in the Gulf of Mexico, endured 25-knot winds and eight-foot waves.

Previously, engineers expected the ship to top 44 knots -- during testing in July, engine issues stopped maximum speed tests before Independence could reach 44 knots.  Exact engine issues weren't released, and the Navy won't officially receive the ship until it successfully passes all required testing.

"Independence exceeded our expectations in terms of maneuverability, stability, handling and speed,” said Jeff Geiger, GD subsidiary Bath Iron Works President.

The Navy wants to develop a fleet of 55 next-generation ships, along with the Freedom ship created by Lockheed Martin.  The Freedom is competing with the LCS, with military officials expected to make a decision once Freedom completes a trial deployment.

Congress believed each LCS would cost in the $220 million price range, but Independence has cost $704 million while Freedom has cost $637 million.  It's unknown of Congress will allow the government to create such a large fleet of LCS if the cost is grossly over budget in the future.

"People Don't Respect Confidentiality in This Industry" -- Sony Computer Entertainment of America President and CEO Jack Tretton
Related Articles
Navy to Begin LCS Retests This Week
October 12, 2009, 5:09 AM

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