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Image of Independence  (Source: US Navy)
The U.S. Navy is working on a new ship it hopes to have deployed by the end of the year

The United States Navy is currently working on its second littoral combat ship (LCS), with military officials impressed with the ship so far, even though there is still a lot of work left to be done.

Despite Defense Secretary Robert Gates announcing the U.S. military will effectively eliminate or cut down some programs in the years to come, the U.S. Navy continues to work diligently on its second LCS.  The Navy expects Independence to be used in shallower water -- able to operate in less than 20 feet of water -- and for antisubmarine warfare, mine warfare, and surface warfare missions.

LCS 2 is $300 million over budget and one year behind schedule, but the project is too important for the government to try and axe the project now.

It has a maximum speed of 45 knots -- almost 52 MPH -- and is designed to be "nimble and fast," with a 11,000 square foot flight deck that is able to support a CH-53 heavy-lift helicopter.  

The 2,790-ton warship is designed to carry a crew of 40 Navy personnel.  Thirty four Humvees or a battalion of Marines can be transported inside of the ships.    

The ship still isn't complete yet, and shipyard workers are working to finish the inside of the LCS 2.

Officers and chiefs will stay in two-person staterooms that have private bathrooms, and enlisted personnel will stay in four-person rooms with a private bathroom.  Rooms for the enlisted men can be expanded to support a larger crew if necessary, Navy officials said.

"That flight deck is just a beast," Chief of Naval Operations Admiral Gary Roughead said after touring the ship.  "I was really pleased with the open architecture approach that's being taken on LCS 2.  That ship continues to amaze me, with regard to the amount of space."

If all goes according to plan, the Navy hopes to have Independence ready for sea trials in June and have the ship commissioned before the end of 2009.

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open architecture eh?
By MadMan007 on 4/8/2009 9:18:20 AM , Rating: 2
I wonder if the computer systems will run Linux?

RE: open architecture eh?
By mforce on 4/8/2009 9:25:25 AM , Rating: 4
It'll probably run Windows so sailors can infect it by connecting their iPods.

RE: open architecture eh?
By PhoenixKnight on 4/8/2009 9:35:25 AM , Rating: 4
Or Mac OS X, so that it's very user-friendly and easy-to-use, but can't do anything useful.

RE: open architecture eh?
By cunning plan on 4/8/2009 9:51:50 AM , Rating: 5
But can it play..........

RE: open architecture eh?
By AnnihilatorX on 4/8/2009 9:54:12 AM , Rating: 2
But can it play..........

Thanks for not splitting out the next word.

RE: open architecture eh?
By StevoLincolnite on 4/8/2009 10:13:03 AM , Rating: 2
... Solitaire?

RE: open architecture eh?
By TheFace on 4/8/2009 10:34:00 AM , Rating: 2
I can play solitaire on my mac? Never knew...

RE: open architecture eh?
By CollegeTechGuy on 4/8/2009 11:08:40 AM , Rating: 2

Gotta stop the Nazis!!!

RE: open architecture eh?
By Mr Perfect on 4/8/09, Rating: 0
RE: open architecture eh?
By FITCamaro on 4/8/2009 9:53:46 AM , Rating: 5
I know it was a joke but fyi, the DoD banned connecting any device to its computers a few months ago. The USB ports were disabled as well as any other port. Pretty much the only way to transfer data between military PCs that aren't on the same network is via optical disc.

Now how strict that policy is everywhere I don't know. But I know its created a headache at work.

RE: open architecture eh?
By rdeegvainl on 4/8/2009 10:43:16 AM , Rating: 2
you can use usb devices with hdd... they banned usb flash media.

RE: open architecture eh?
By MrPoletski on 4/16/2009 10:58:39 AM , Rating: 2
to be fair, they needed to due to the virulence of USB stick virus nasties.

To be fairer though, there is ZERO, ZERO ZERO ZERO excuse for Microsoft to allow the possibility of the propagation of these virii. It is WOEFUL incompetance on their part.

For the record, you can ensure your USB memory stick is virus free (protects against the vast majority) by creating a folder called 'autorun.inf' on the drive in the root directory. A folder, not a file , and make it read only. 9/10 of USB virii spread by writing their own autorun script onto the stick which windows will dutifully execute without any user warning as soon as the drive is plugged in. They will not be able to create or overwrite the autorun.inf file if a folder with that name already exists, however.

Why in the hell hasn't microsoft released a 'fix' that disables autorun on USB media?!?!? I mean autorun was only really useful for install CD's... even then, is it so hard to go in and double click on the thing you want to run?

RE: open architecture eh?
By 16nm on 4/8/2009 12:39:22 PM , Rating: 5
Arr, matey! Nothing be worse than infection by seamen.

RE: open architecture eh?
By Casual Observer on 4/8/2009 9:58:44 AM , Rating: 2
Could it be they're talking about bulk heads?
lmao - OS Ultra 2048.

RE: open architecture eh?
By cornelius785 on 4/8/09, Rating: 0
RE: open architecture eh?
By teldar on 4/8/2009 4:03:43 PM , Rating: 3
I think that was probably a pune, i.e play on words, or joke.

RE: open architecture eh?
By Durrr on 4/8/2009 10:36:01 PM , Rating: 2
Unix based operating systems

RE: open architecture eh?
By xEnomania on 4/9/2009 12:00:15 PM , Rating: 2
$300 million?!? I thought they would at least upgrade it with a railgun or with the tactical laser maybe :S

By MrPoletski on 4/8/2009 10:12:21 AM , Rating: 1
What is so technologically amazing about this ship?

this is a tech site...

RE: so...
By therealnickdanger on 4/8/2009 10:18:43 AM , Rating: 2
Hush... don't question what you're given.

RE: so...
By DuctTapeAvenger on 4/8/2009 10:20:16 AM , Rating: 5
I think this article is meant to appeal to both genders on a level below what you are expecting.

Guys: It can blow crap up.
Girls: It's full of seamen.

RE: so...
By yomamafor1 on 4/8/2009 12:47:37 PM , Rating: 5
Make it a 6!

RE: so...
By MrPoletski on 4/16/2009 10:59:58 AM , Rating: 2

RE: so...
By FITCamaro on 4/8/2009 10:29:33 AM , Rating: 2
Perhaps you should try doing some reading on it instead of saying "whats so special about a ship?"

The fact that it is supposed to be able to operate in 20 feet of water alone is a huge strategical advantage.

RE: so...
By mmcdonalataocdotgov on 4/8/2009 11:35:30 AM , Rating: 2
I hope it can operate in 20 feet of water since it is a littoral craft. But how does it do in the open ocean?

Btw, is there something we don't know about submarines since this has sub detection cability while patrolling rivers?

RE: so...
By FITCamaro on 4/8/2009 12:12:14 PM , Rating: 5
Not all rivers are shallow. German subs were going up into channels and rivers in Florida and South Carolina in WW2.

RE: so...
By twjr on 4/10/2009 5:37:05 AM , Rating: 2
Very true and what about harbours and sounds? Japanese subs were reported in many sounds in my country (New Zealand). Though I can't see anything other than midget subs operating in 6 metres (20ft).

RE: so...
By Amiga500 on 4/8/2009 12:01:56 PM , Rating: 4
A rowing boat can "operate in 20 feet of water"... Doesn't mean it is actually much use.

It seems the LCS is getting back to what the destroyer was always supposed to be. The draught of say a WW2 Fletcher class is ~12 ft... the draught of an Arleigh Burke is ~30 ft.

An Arleigh Burke is really a guided missile cruiser - of very comparable size to the Ticonderoga guided missile cruiser.

In designing the Spruance (and subsequent destroyers) - the US Navy blurred the distinction between cruiser and destroyer. The LCS is a step back towards what it should be.

RE: so...
By PrinceGaz on 4/8/2009 1:33:42 PM , Rating: 2
Wouldn't it be better to look towards some of the stealth destroyer-class ships some Scandinavian countries have been developing to see the state of the art? They also tend to be pretty fast as well as being stealthy.

RE: so...
By Fallen Kell on 4/8/2009 2:27:26 PM , Rating: 2
We tried the whole "stealth" craft. The benefits did not outweigh the drawl-backs of such a design. There was too much added complexity which added to increased chance of failure of systems. Things like doors and hatches that needed to open for any weapon system to operate... Simply damaging the door would keep that weapon system from being used in a combat situation, which is not a good thing.

LCS is a good idea. A smaller, fast nimble interdiction and attack vessel has been missing from the US fleet for a while. As pointed out, destroyers started to get too big for their intended design and really started to be used a guided missile carriers. The reason for this was because the Navy needed to guided missile carriers because the current ones in the fleet were at their end of life, but congress was not purchasing guided missile carriers because they were expensive and instead was buying guided missile "destroyers" to take their place. Now they are buying the LCS to take the role that the destroyers could no longer perform (as well as extend that role a little more by removing some of the higher requirements of ship to ship capabilities demanded for a destroyer class ship).

RE: so...
By OoklaTheMok on 4/8/2009 2:57:45 PM , Rating: 2
There are a number of issue with creating a stealth ship, but I have never seen a requirement to have a hatch open in order for a weapon system to operate. In fact, it is just the opposite. All hatches must be closed to protect the internal integrity of the ship.

FWIW, an LCS has more in common with a frigate than a destroyer.

RE: so...
By MrPoletski on 4/15/2009 6:30:03 AM , Rating: 2
your radar cross section size can be increased greatly by having external things to your hull... such as duck mounted cannons and missile launchers.

This is why the F22 has bays for all it's weapons, if it flew with all it's bays open it would lose most of its stealth capability.

RE: so...
By OoklaTheMok on 4/8/2009 2:51:37 PM , Rating: 2
An Arleigh Burke is a destroyer, not a cruiser. Frigates, destroyers and cruisers, regardless of their respective sizes, have unique roles and capabilities in maritime and wartime operations.

While the Arliegh Burke class of ships may appear similar to a cruiser, there are capabilities that a cruiser will have that an Arleigh Burke won't. Without going into specifics, I can attest to this after spending four years on a cruiser.

RE: so...
By Amiga500 on 4/8/2009 6:37:20 PM , Rating: 2
An Arleigh Burke is a destroyer, not a cruiser. Frigates, destroyers and cruisers, regardless of their respective sizes, have unique roles and capabilities in maritime and wartime operations.

I would strongly disagree. If you run down the list of arms each man-of-war can bring to bear, the differences are virtually intangible*. Both can fire:
- Standard missiles
- Harpoons
- Tomahawks
- ESSM (RIM-162)
- ASROC (RUM-139)
- various calibre guns
- Mk 32 torpedoes (with some other variants)

*the main differences being:
Arleigh Burke has a 5" gun
Ticonderoga has a hangar and 2 helos. Later Arleigh Burkes also gained a 'full' flight deck.

The US Navy has made the equal of any cruiser in any other Navy in the Arleigh Burke class.

Now they have to invent another class of ship to be what the destroyer always was supposed to be. You cannot reasonably say that the Arleigh Burke is much different from Ticonderoga class - except in the words used for acquisition papers.

RE: so...
By MrPoletski on 4/16/2009 11:16:39 AM , Rating: 2
The armements a ship can bring to bear are only one part of the very large picture of its use.

Your post does not consider the sonar profile, the speed, the operational range, the armour, the defence systems...

Your post doesn't consider a wide variety of things that determine the usefulness of a ship in any particular combat role.

RE: so...
By MrPoletski on 4/16/2009 10:51:21 AM , Rating: 2
Perhaps you should try doing some reading on it instead of saying "whats so special about a ship?"

Ah, nice of you to direct me to a TECH SITE that would write an article abot this ship from a TECHNICAL point of view.

Perhaps I shouldn't have to get technical details about something written on a tech site from another tech site. Perhaps the tech site that posted the original article should talk about the technical details. Perhaps it is that very concept that differentiates that site from any non-tech site.

Uh ???
By spfsocal on 4/8/2009 1:12:24 PM , Rating: 2
"The 2,790-ton warship is designed to carry a crew of 40 Navy personnel. Thirty four Humvees or a battalion of Marines can be transported inside of the ships."

Does anybody realize that there might be a typo? 34 Humvees makes me think this is a amphibious landing ship not a littoral combat ship.

RE: Uh ???
By akosixiv on 4/8/2009 2:18:06 PM , Rating: 3
that's why they have a launch pad...

20 feet of draft could bring you pretty close to shore. Tie up the humvees onto a catapult and just hurl them to shore.

RE: Uh ???
By jimbojimbo on 4/8/2009 3:29:42 PM , Rating: 2
That number can give people an idea of how many AAVs it can hold. If the ship has a large launch area like the LHD ships do it can just leave out of that.

4 enlisted per room though with private bathroom? Ha! They're going to stuff at least 8 Marines in luxury like that.

RE: Uh ???
By spfsocal on 4/8/2009 3:39:18 PM , Rating: 2
But my point is that no ship of this size has that kind of capacity unless we make it look like a bloody container ship...

RE: Uh ???
By MadMan007 on 4/9/2009 5:22:13 AM , Rating: 2
Go read up on them in wikipedia. The cargo is not mean to be landed amphibiously but rather at a dock in roll-on/roll-off fashion, a bit like a ferry. If I'm understanding it right the cargo capability is one of the flexible 'mission modules' that allows the ship to be refitted for different missions.

There are two competing LCS designs, this one and a trimaran which looks like an artist's rendering of a stealth ship.

RE: Uh ???
By Mojo the Monkey on 4/10/2009 6:35:09 PM , Rating: 2
or they can carry things BESIDES HumVs ... like marine hovercraft.

Old news?
By iFX on 4/8/2009 10:06:42 AM , Rating: 2
LCS-1 (USS Freedom) was commissioned in November of last year and is in service right now.

LCS-2 (USS Independence) is due to be commissioned in September of this year.

RE: Old news?
By Regs on 4/8/2009 10:25:26 AM , Rating: 1
Reminds me when they first started testing air craft carriers. Remember how many pilots died during that ordeal? They'd sling shot the air craft right into the water. It was almost funny if it wasnt for the deaths involved.

RE: Old news?
By Nfarce on 4/8/2009 6:04:38 PM , Rating: 2
Actually they weren't even carriers as we know them today. They were ships with rail catapults that slung aircraft (float planes) into the air and had to hoist them back on deck after they landed in the water next to the ship. It was actually pretty successful. Just not practical. Then came the flat top idea and that was when the REAL accidents started.

RE: Old news?
By Creig on 4/8/2009 11:50:48 AM , Rating: 5
They've been named the Freedom and the Independence? Somebody in the Navy has been watching "Armageddon" a few too many times.

OK, so what's it good for?
By FPP on 4/8/2009 5:46:42 PM , Rating: 3
In the day and age we live in, what are they good for? They need constant fueling, are at risk from subs, a new generation of missiles,etc., and are not really as good as carriers, LST's or other purpose-built ships. Ther mission seems to be to defend mostly themselves, with a little anti-sub and missile picket duty thrown in. Nuke Subs are stealthy, can launch UAV's, spec ops, land attack missiles, do anti-sub warfare and have unlimited range. carriers can manage airspace, and amphib ships are better at that role. That being the case, what are these really good for? Perhaps pirate chases, or that type of stuff, but this stuff we keep hearing about shallow water ops flys in the face of the fact that, once you get that close to the shore, a whole bunch of threats can whack your ass, like plain old ballistic weapons (guns and rockets). Someone is pulling our leg here.

RE: OK, so what's it good for?
By Nfarce on 4/8/2009 6:09:06 PM , Rating: 2
In the day and age we live in, what are they good for?

It never hurts to read:

Someone is pulling our leg here.

Since you know everything about the military and missions, I nominate you as our next Secretary Of Defense!

Run the show, dude.

RE: OK, so what's it good for?
By Dfere on 4/8/2009 6:19:58 PM , Rating: 2
I was on it. My impression was that it took far less crew to operate. The fire (control?) officer pointed out that even she had cleaning assignments.

This is the new lean and getting leaner navy. I think the Roman navy went through this during the fall.....

RE: OK, so what's it good for?
By FPP on 4/9/2009 12:54:33 PM , Rating: 1
OK professor, I read it. Yes, it was the same, lazy, copy-the-corporate press-release tripe that we keep getting, but again, in this day and age, almost any existing warship can do most of these things, and currently do them very well.

Cost? Well, this, like every other program has overshot the mark, by a mile, so the cost argument is in Davy Jones's locker.

Speed? Impressive, but outside of chasing a pirate or an illegal fisherman, it provides very little benefit, for all of the effort and I'd have to ask if any captain would actually hazard his vessel going closer to shore, in an age where amphib keeps going farther out to sea to avoid increasingly shophisticated threats from the shore, i.e. missiles, etc.

Multi-mission? Any warship can be equipped to fire these weapons, and do so very well. This is the advantage of these weapons i.e. they can go on any warship.

This beiing the case, the progenators of this program retreat into the penta-speak of "asymetrical warfare' and other gobbledygook designed to confuse senators who cannot even run their own laptops, let alone make an informed decision. Once again, jobs, etc., drives the procurement process and not real need.

By kontorotsui on 4/9/2009 8:25:32 AM , Rating: 2
Makes me nostalgic of the battleships.

RE: Battleships
By FPP on 4/11/2009 12:08:17 PM , Rating: 2
Now there is a Freudian slip if I've ever heard one. This ship is another glaring example of peacetime paradigms driving war fighting, concepts that fail the moment the shooting starts.

RE: Battleships
By sticks435 on 4/13/2009 8:17:51 PM , Rating: 2
Agreed. I think we should bring them back just for the intimidation factor of 16inch guns.

Yes it runs linux
By oe800r on 4/8/2009 12:05:14 PM , Rating: 4
I work on portions of the computer system on this boat.

Yup it runs linux, it's one badass ride.

Aussie design wins out?
By croc on 4/8/2009 8:40:41 PM , Rating: 2
Austal seems to have won the bidding / design competition for the LCS class ships. Pretty impressive design, BTW, enough space on deck for two CH 53 helos, huge cargo space below decks, pretty nice crew quarters. Fast, and cheap to run once on plane.

Too bad the Aussie navy seems not to want it...

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