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Littoral Combat Ship (LCS)
The Independence Variant of the LCS Class is a high speed, agile, shallow draft and networked surface ship. The ships are open ocean capable but are designed to defeat growing littoral threats and provide access and dominance in the coastal water battlespace.
A fast, maneuverable and networked surface combatant, LCS provides the required warfighting capabilities and operational flexibility to accomplish critical warfighting missions including mine warfare, anti-submarine warfare and surface warfare with inherent capabilities that also support missions such as special operations and maritime interdiction.
LCS delivers combat capability from core self-defense systems in concert with rapidly interchangeable, modular mission packages and an open architecture command and control system. The LCS Independence Variant aviation facilities and watercraft launch and recovery capability support focused mission packages outfitted with both manned and unmanned air, surface, and sub-surface vehicles. A mission bay and three weapons modules provide support service interfaces between mission package weapons, sensors and vehicles and the seaframe.
Modularity maximizes the flexibility of LCS and enables commanders to meet changing warfare needs, while also supporting faster, easier technological updates. LCS will be networked to share tactical information with aircraft, ships, submarines, joint and coalition units both at sea and on shore, and with LCS operating groups.
The trimaran construction is unique to the US Navy and lends the Independence Variant some unique characteristics. Its flight deck is the largest of any current US Navy surface combatant, and its hangar bay is able to hold two MH-60 helicopters.
General Dynamics is the prime contractor for the LCS 2 and LCS 4 with Austal as the shipbuilder. Austal is the prime contractor for the follow ships.
For the LCS and EPF programs, Austal, as prime contractor, is teamed with General Dynamics Mission Systems (formerly General Dynamics Advanced Information Systems), a business unit of General Dynamics. As the ship systems integrator, General Dynamics is responsible for the design, integration and testing of the ship’s electronic systems including the combat system, networks, and seaframe control. General Dynamics’ proven open architecture approach allows for affordable and efficient capability growth as technologies develop.