Sunday, October 25, 2009

New NAVY Close Shore Combat Ships (ittoral combat ship Independence [LCS 2] underway during builder's trials)

These images show the littoral combat ship Independence (LCS 2) underway during builder's trials on July 12, 2009. Builder's trials are the first opportunity for the shipbuilder and the U.S. Navy to operate the ship underway, and provide an opportunity to test and correct issues before acceptance trials. The second of the Navy's new generation of speedy warships designed to operate close to shore topped 50 miles per hour in builder trials completed this month. Officials say the Independence, a 418-foot ship built in Alabama, traveled in excess of 45 knots, which equates to nearly 52 mph, and sustained 44 knots during a four-hour, full-speed sprint.

On 5 July 2009, Retired U.S. Navy Adm. James Lyons called for termination of the LCS program in favor of a $220 million per ship common design with the USCG that could "meet limited warfare requirements."

On 16 September 2009, Navy acquisition chief Sean Stackley and Vice Admiral Barry McCullough said that only one of the contractors would be offered a fixed price contract in 2010 for up to ten ships. This would be the long rumored downselect to a single design. This would be followed in 2012 with an offer for a second shipyard to build up to five additional ships of the same design as the first shipyard's. The Congress has agreed to this plan.

FY2010 budget documents revealed that the total costs of the two lead ships had risen to $637 million for Freedom and $704 million for Independence.

USS Freedom, in the above video and below pictures, gets up to about 45-mph