Favourite photos of 2013 #3: Launch of PCU USS Forth Worth (LCS-3)

101204-N-0000X-003 MARINETTE, Wis. (Dec. 4, 2010) The littoral combat ship Pre-Commissioning Unit (PCU) Fort Worth (LCS 3) is launched into the Menominee River during a christening ceremony for the navy’s third littoral combat ship. Fort Worth will continue to undergo outfitting and testing at Marinette Marine before delivery to the Navy in 2012. (U.S. Navy photo courtesy of Lockheed Martin/Released)

USS Milwaukee (LCS 5) slides into Lake Michigan during christening ceremony

131218-N-EW716-001 MARINETTE, Wis. (Dec. 18, 2013) The littoral combat ship Pre-Commissioning Unit (PCU) Milwaukee (LCS 5) slides into Lake Michigan during a christening ceremony at the Marinette Marine Corporation shipyard. (U.S. Navy photo courtesy of Lockheed Martin/Released)

USS Coronado (LCS 4) completes acceptance trials

The USS Coronado (LCS 4) will be the US Navy’s 4th multi-mission littoral combat ship from a commitment to purchase 52 as replacements for frigates, mine countermeasures vessels, and assault ships. The project is 100% over budget and the ships are not considered to be survivable in combat, yet the Pentagon’s commitment to purchase 52 units remains.

LCS 4 Completes Acceptance Trials

MOBILE, Ala. (NNS) — The future USS Coronado (LCS 4) successfully concluded acceptance trials after completing a series of graded in-port and underway demonstrations for the Navy’s Board of Inspection and Survey (INSURV), the Navy announced Aug. 28.

130823-N-EW716-001 GULF OF MEXICO (Aug. 23, 2013) The future USS Coronado (LCS 4) conducts at-sea acceptance trials in the Gulf of Mexico. Acceptance trials are the last significant milestone before delivery of the ship to the U.S. Navy, which is planned for later this fall. (U.S. Navy photo courtesy of Austal USA/Released)

Acceptance trials are the last significant milestone before delivery of the ship to the Navy, which is planned for later this fall. The ship completed trials Aug. 23.

“Coronado’s performance was strong” said Rear Adm. Robert Wray, INSURV president. “[This was] the most complete and rigorous trial on the Independence variant to date. I remain bullish on these seaframes.”

During the four-day trial, the Navy conducted comprehensive tests intended to demonstrate the performance of the propulsion plant, ship handling and auxiliary systems. While underway, the ship successfully performed launch and recovery operations with both the 7-meter and 11-meter rigid hull inflatable boats, a four-hour full power run, surface and air self defense detect-to-engage exercises, and demonstrated the ship’s tremendous maneuverability performing tight turns and accomplishing speeds in excess of 40 knots.

“Coronado encompasses lessons learned from the construction and operation of its predecessor USS Independence. The value of those changes was evident in the strong performance of the ship during her trial.” said LCS Program Manager Capt. Tom Anderson. “It’s a very exciting time in the LCS program.”

Following delivery and commissioning, Coronado will be homeported in San Diego with its sister ships USS Freedom (LCS 1), USS Independence (LCS 2) and USS Fort Worth (LCS 3).

Milwaukee (LCS 5), Detroit (LCS 7), Little Rock (LCS 9) and Sioux City (LCS 11) are under construction at the Marinette Marine Corp. shipyard in Marinette, Wis., and Jackson (LCS 6), Montgomery (LCS 8), Gabrielle Giffords (LCS 10) and Omaha (LCS 12), are under construction at the Austal USA shipyard in Mobile, Ala.

Wichita (LCS 13) and Billings (LCS 15) are under contract with Marinette Marine Corp and in the pre-production phase, while Manchester (LCS 14) and Tulsa (LCS 16) under contract with Austal and in the pre-production phase.

The littoral combat ship class is designed to defeat threats in coastal waters where increasingly capable submarines, mines, and swarming small craft operate. To deliver capabilities against these threats, the Navy introduced LCS with innovative concepts, such as modular mission packages, to quickly respond to an evolving threat.

The Navy is committed to a 52-ship LCS class.


USS Freedom (LCS 1) loses power after generator problems

USS Freedom (LCS 1), lead vessel in her class of littoral combat ships, suffers further problems and puts in for further repairs. Is this simply teething troubles with the lead vessel, or a sign of a deeper probkem? Either way, a tad embarrassing for American technology… and somewhat inconvenient, coming just days before a Congressional hearing into the LCS program.

U.S. warship returns to Singapore after generator problems at sea

(Reuters) – The USS Freedom, one of the U.S. Navy’s new coastal warships, returned to port in Singapore on July 20 after suffering electrical problems at sea as it was preparing for a bilateral naval exercise with Singapore, a Navy spokesman said.

The ship, built by Lockheed Martin Corp, may be able to return to sea for the at-sea portion of the exercise if repairs are done quickly, said Lieutenant Commander Clay Doss.

It is the latest in a series of problems faced by the new warship on its first major overseas deployment. Freedom left San Diego on March 1 and arrived on April 18 in Singapore, where it is due to participate in a Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training (CARAT) exercise with the Singaporean Navy this week.

The latest incident occurred just days before a July 25 hearing by the House Armed Services Committee about the Navy’s new class of Littoral Combat Ships, including Freedom, a steel monohull design, and a second model built by Austal, based on an aluminum trimaran design.

The Navy plans to spend $34 billion to build 52 of the new warships, which were designed to patrol coastal waters while tackling threats like mines and enemy submarines.

The head of the House seapower subcommittee told reporters last month that he may push for funding cuts given a critical draft report by the Government Accountability Office, a congressional watchdog agency.

Doss said the ship lost propulsion briefly as its crew was preparing to take on fresh supplies by helicopter, but the ship’s overall power did not go out, and the supply run was completed as planned.

Initial checks showed that one of the ship’s diesel generators overheated and shut down, Doss said. He said the crew found exhaust leaks in turbochargers – which are used to increase the speed and power of the generators – in two of the generators and determined that they needed to be replaced.

The ship also had problems with its online generators that will require further troubleshooting by maintenance technicians in Singapore, Doss said.

“Despite challenges that are not uncommon for any U.S. Navy ship on deployment, let alone a first-of-class ship that has never deployed overseas before, the Freedom crew continues to perform well as they capture valuable lessons learned,” he said.

He said the Navy was confident it had the right technical and logistics resources in place in the region to address the ship’s electrical problems.

Since departing for Singapore, Freedom has faced issues with its coolant system, which forced it to port for repairs, and Navy tests found vulnerabilities in its computer network.

Navy officials say they remain confident in the new class of warships which can be reconfigured for a variety of missions. They say the problems seen with Freedom and Independence so far are typical of those faced by any new ship built.

Chief of Naval Operations Admiral Jonathan Greenert told reporters on Friday the challenges faced by Freedom were similar to those seen on earlier classes of warships, including the Arleigh Burke destroyers.

“But we need to be vigilant, and we need to follow up, and we have work to do,” Greenert said.


USS Fort Worth (LCS-3) completes camouflage painting, high res pics.

NAVAL BASE SAN DIEGO, Calif. (June 27, 2013) Workers put the finishing touches on the camouflage paint for the littoral combat ship USS Fort Worth (LCS 3) as the ship prepares to leave dry dock during its selected restricted availability. Fort Worth was painted with a pattern intended to meet two principal objectives: to conceal hull exhaust ports, to reduce detection and exterior maintenance of the ship when compared to a uniform haze gray paint job. The paint scheme utilizes gradient paints and contrasting angles to match the maritime environment and to make detection more difficult. Fort Worth is the second of the Freedom-variant of Littoral Combat Ship and is expected to deploy next year.

U.S. Navy photo by Lt. Kurt Draper/Released

U.S. Navy photo by Lt. Kurt Draper/Released

Keel laying for USS Little Rock, US Navy’s 9th littoral combat ship

Lockheed Martin and Marinette Marine have laid the keel on the US Navy’s ninth Littoral Combat Ship (LCS), the future USS Little Rock.

“This is a great milestone for the U.S. Navy’s future USS Little Rock and for the program as we continue to deliver ships,” said Joe North, vice president of Littoral Ship Systems at Lockheed Martin Mission Systems and Training. “As we transition into serial production, we’re applying lessons-learned to the construction process that our team has learned from supporting the U.S. Navy in maintaining the team’s first and second ships.”


The USS Little Rock (LCS-9) will be a Freedom-class littoral combat ship, one of two classes of LCS under construction for the US Navy.

The LCS is a fast, agile, focused-mission platform designed for operation in near-shore environments yet capable of open-ocean operation. It is designed to defeat asymmetric threats such as mines, quiet diesel submarines and fast surface craft.

The LCS class consists of two variants, the Freedom-class and the Independence-class. They are designed and built by two industry teams, respectively led by Lockheed Martin and General Dynamics.

The two LCS classes will be outfitted with reconfigurable payloads, called Mission Packages, which can be changed out quickly. Detachments of mission-specific personnel will support each Mission Packages.  They will deploy manned and unmanned vehicles and sensors in support of mine, undersea and surface warfare missions.

The 55 LCS-class ships will replace 30 FFG-7 Oliver Hazard Perry Class frigates, 14 MCM Avenger Class mine countermeasures vessels, 12 MHC-51 Osprey Class coastal mine hunters.