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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.

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Let me get this straight..
By Evan B on 10/22/2009 4:49:57 PM , Rating: 2
Are these ships meant to protect us from asteroids hurtling towards to the Earth?

RE: Let me get this straight..
By rippleyaliens on 10/22/2009 5:04:22 PM , Rating: 4
The ship is needed. GRANTED 600mil ea, maybe not needed that much, but yet still.. The US Navy, while very good at what it does.. Suffers just like all the armed forces.. a whole lot of 30+ year old gear, that is becoming toooo expensive just to maintain. Back in 1992, a Marine MEU went out, 5 ships.. 1 was BRAND NEW!!!, 2 were 10+ Years old, and 2 were soooooo old, they actually served in the Vietnam war. of those 5 ships, lets fast forward 17 years, and 4 of those 5, are still in service.. Stuff cant last forever...

RE: Let me get this straight..
By kyp275 on 10/22/2009 7:43:00 PM , Rating: 2
Agree with you completely, but I think you missed the joke here.

just go look up a movie about asteroid and oil rig workers :P

RE: Let me get this straight..
By rippleyaliens on 10/23/2009 2:15:38 PM , Rating: 2
DOH, i just realized the Armageddon connection.. ROFL..
MESA needs more coffee to wake up thy brain cells

RE: Let me get this straight..
By Ardan on 10/22/2009 5:11:57 PM , Rating: 4
All I can say is that I would prefer to be on the Freedom rather than the Independence ;).

RE: Let me get this straight..
By grath on 10/24/2009 7:53:42 AM , Rating: 3
Just so long as they launch them both simultaneously right next to each other, it just wouldnt feel safe otherwise...

Actually, it's the LCS2 Independence
By croc on 10/22/2009 6:46:59 PM , Rating: 3
Another Australian designed and built ship makes good...

RE: Actually, it's the LCS2 Independence
By ClownPuncher on 10/22/2009 7:10:59 PM , Rating: 2
It was built in Mobile, Alabama. My geography may be rusty, but that is in the US. Austal USA is a branch of Austal, which is definitely in Australia, though.

By teldar on 10/22/2009 7:32:58 PM , Rating: 2
And it appears that it was designed by General Dynamics. I don't believe GD is a subsidiary of Austal. I believe GD could buy Austal and quite a few other companies if they wanted to.

By croc on 10/22/2009 7:37:21 PM , Rating: 2
The original LCS was designed and built down here in AUS for possible use by the Australian Navy, who picked up options on 5 (I think) of the design concept. During the specifications phase of the project some of your US Navy took an interest in the project, hence Austal US was born. Now that the LCS 2 has completed sea trials, this is certainly a more viable project than it was. BTW, these are NOT deep water boats, building them and delivering them in / from Australia would be a bit of an issue...

By AmishElvis on 10/22/2009 8:50:09 PM , Rating: 3
It's cool they were able to put a basketball court on the back.

PHM-1 Pegasus
By tremelai1 on 10/22/2009 9:36:29 PM , Rating: 2
These new littoral ships are no where near as capable compared to their PHM Pegasus class predecessor.

The PHM performed the following roles:
Special Operations Forces support, high-speed transit, Maritime Drug & Piracy Interdiction, Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance, Anti-Terrorism/Force Protection and anti-ship operations. The PHM was designed for deep and shallow seas as well as river operations.

LCS is slated to take on the old PHM roles but is not capable of river born operations nor is it equipped with an anti-ship armament. The LCS is equipped with a smaller deck gun than the PHM and no other armament. It is equipped with a helicopter pad where the PHM was purely a combat ship.

The Navy spent approximately ~$50 Million for each of the Pegasus ships. (normalized for inflation in 2005 dollars)

The LCS costs 10 times more because it is a smaller, far less capable version of a high end and expensive capital ship.

The PHM program was put in place by Admiral Elmo Zumwalt with his High/Low doctine. By using lower end, coast guard class hull platforms and outfitting them with Navy weapons systems, the Navy can acquire littoral ship capability without breaking the bank.

see below for more info.

I think we should revive the Zumwalt doctine and cancel the LCS program. We should design and build some new light weight hydrofoil PHM systems and use the savings to buy Zumwailt class destroyers.

RE: PHM-1 Pegasus
By eldakka on 10/23/2009 2:38:21 AM , Rating: 2
nor is it equipped with an anti-ship armament. The LCS is equipped with a smaller deck gun than the PHM and no other armament. It is equipped with a helicopter pad where the PHM was purely a combat ship.

The whole LCS design is based around a 'mission module' concept. The current armament is a base, integral level for basic self-defense. The mission modules are designed to be able to tailor the vessel to specific missions on an as needed basis. A vessel doing high-speed troop transport doesn't need a brace of VLS tubes, it needs troop space and some basic, minimal self-defence capability. When it's needed to do surveillance work, a surveillance mission module is loaded that has sophisticated surveillance gear. Again it doesn't need a brace of harpoon missiles to do this role. If it is needed for escort duty, then it doesn't need surveillance or troop transport capability, instead a mission module can be installed to expand its surface-to-surface and/or surface-to-air air and/or ASW capabilities.

I'm not saying it's going to WORK, but that's the theory anyway :).

RE: PHM-1 Pegasus
By grath on 10/24/2009 8:14:29 AM , Rating: 2
To me it seems like the kind of mentality that produced the Space Shuttle.

They know we need "something" new, have a somewhat vague yet all encompassing idea of what the mission requirements are, but know they intend to throw barely enough money into only one program, so that program needs the "versatility" to serve all of the vague and varied mission concepts.

What this kind of thinking ends up with is something over-engineered and over-budget that is technically capable of meeting mission requirements but excells at none of them, and hogs all the funding for an entire generation until someone realizes what a waste of time it was and has to start from scratch again.

RE: PHM-1 Pegasus
By jdietz on 10/24/2009 10:49:52 AM , Rating: 2
You go to war with the Navy you have. This ship allows you to "have" a more versatile Navy without actually having one.

And the space shuttle is off topic.

By StraightCashHomey on 10/22/2009 6:42:42 PM , Rating: 5
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.

Congress would never allow spending that went over the budget.

RE: Congre$$
By daInvincibleGama on 10/25/2009 2:18:12 AM , Rating: 2
+6. Easily.

I love this guy.

Knots don't add up
By aguilpa1 on 10/23/2009 9:16:20 AM , Rating: 2
"had an average speed of 44 knots, with a top speed of 45"

You can't average 44knots with a top speed of 45 unless your lowest speed through the trials was like 43knots.

RE: Knots don't add up
By MamiyaOtaru on 10/23/2009 10:51:29 AM , Rating: 3
Not correct. You could have a lowest speed of 10 and still average 44 with a max of 45 if you spend a lot more time at 45 than you do at 10.

RE: Knots don't add up
By grath on 10/24/2009 8:05:00 AM , Rating: 2
Still, those numbers jumped right out at me for the same reason. They are either exaggerating the average speed or intentionally misstating the maximum speed.

It seems more likely that 44 represents the "average maximum" speed attained at full throttle under typical conditions as opposed to an "absolute maximum" speed that was observed for a brief time under better than typical conditions.

MST2000 Robot
By Spookster on 10/22/2009 5:00:29 PM , Rating: 2
I don't know why but it reminds me of the robot from Mystery Science Theater 2000.

RE: MST2000 Robot
By ClownPuncher on 10/22/2009 7:28:56 PM , Rating: 2
Anyone trying to google that might want to know that it is Mystery Science Theater 3000.

RE: MST2000 Robot
By erple2 on 10/22/2009 9:01:31 PM , Rating: 2
Anyone trying to google that might want to know that it is Mystery Science Theater 3000.

Maybe. But maybe MST 2k only had 1 robot like the GP was referring to.


Real American Hero!!
By AEvangel on 10/22/2009 6:09:13 PM , Rating: 4
I just want to know when we are getting ships and subs like they had in GI Joe movie??

By FPP on 10/23/2009 4:43:01 PM , Rating: 3
I have a question:What are these good for?

These are general purpose ships. In the day and age we live in, what good are they? They have to carry anti-sub gear to do that job and when they do, they are no good for anything else. If they are carrying human mercy mission gear, they must go back to port to reconfig. They are not Aegis cruisers so they do not have full-up SAM capability. If you have a need for a ship to do a specific job, it must be config'ed for THAT purpose, or the compromises are just too severe.

By randomposter on 10/22/2009 5:49:25 PM , Rating: 2
... a Benthic Combat Ship.


By Josh7289 on 10/22/2009 5:59:55 PM , Rating: 2
This thing looks intense.

Looks like...
By kontorotsui on 10/23/2009 2:38:20 PM , Rating: 2
That ship looks like a Star Destroyer.

Better ships can be built cheaper....
By KIJ on 10/24/2009 2:47:35 PM , Rating: 2
Better ships can be built cheaper. One example is the danish Absalon-class, which did very good, when it was chasing pirates.

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