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Independence class

Littoral combat ship

Independence class

The Independence class vessels have a trimaran hull and operate close to the shore

 
 
Country of origin USA
Entered service 2010
Crew 40 - 75 men
Sea endurance ~ 21 days
Dimensions and displacement
Length 127.5 m
Beam 31.5 m
Draught 4.25 m
Displacement, standard ~ 2 750 tons
Displacement, full load 3 100 tons
Propulsion and speed
Speed over 44 knots
Range 8 000 km at 18 knots
Propulsion 2 x MTU 8000 diesel engines, 2 x General Electric LM2500 gas turbines, 2 x LJ160E waterjets, 2 x LJ150E waterjets, 4 x diesel generators
Airwing
Helicopters 1 x MH-60R/S Seahawk, 2 x MQ-8B Fire Scout or 1 x MQ-8C Fire Scout
Armament
Artillery 1 x BAE Mk.110 57-mm gun, 2 x 30-mm guns, 4 x 12.7 mm M2 machine guns
Missiles 1 x SeaRAM CIWS with 11 x RIM-116 Rolling Airframe Missile Surface-to-Air Missiles

 

   The Independence class is the second class (the first class was the Freedom class) of an entirely new type of ship—the Littoral Combat Ship (LCS). These ships are small, agile, stealthy, and speedy surface vessels optimized for littoral operations (operations close to shore) against small craft. They are intended to be highly adaptable and can use different mission modules for surface-to-surface warfare, mine warfare, and Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW). The modules are capable of being changed in one hour. So far, the two LCS classes (the Freedom and Independence classes) have both included a large flight deck, hangar, stern ramp for small boats, and a shallow draught. Also, both are small but capable amphibious assault platforms. They are both smaller than frigates but larger than corvettes.

   Currently, three ships of the Independence class are active, with six under construction and four more planned. General Dynamics and Austral have built them since 2006 at the cost of around $360 million each, or approximately half the cost in adjusted dollars of the Oliver Hazard Perry class guided missile frigates they have replaced.

   Main offensive armament comes from the BAE Systems Mk.110 57-mm gun. This gun can fire at 220 rounds per minute at targets up to 14 kilometers away. The Mk.110 features 400 ready rounds in the turret with two additional magazines of 240 rounds each. Four M2 12.7-mm heavy machine guns are included for patrol operations where only light firepower is needed.

   Air defense is comprised of one SeaRAM Close In Weapon System (CIWS) firing 11 RIM-116 Rolling Airframe Missile (RAM) with a range of 9 kilometers. This CIWS uses the sensors of the Phalanx 1B CIWS, but uses missiles instead of a 20 mm gun.

   The mine warfare module includes AN/WLD-1 remote mine hunting system, AN/AQS-20A mine-detecting sonar, organic airborne surface influence sweep, and airborne mine detection and neutralization systems.

   The ASW module features the Sea TALON undersea surveillance system, an advanced deployable surveillance system, unmanned surface vehicles, and helicopter delivered weapons and sonar.

   The Surface-to-Surface warfare module has two Mk.46 (the US Navy version of the Mk.44 Bushmaster II) 30 mm cannons that fire 200 rounds per minute at ranges of up to 2 kilometers and a new beyond line-of-sight missile with a range of 40 kilometers. In addition, the MH-60 helicopter can be armed with AGM-114 Hellfire missiles and cannons.

   The Independence class uses an extremely unusual but immensely stable trimaran hull (one large hull and two smaller hulls, one attached to each side of the main hull) built with strong lightweight steel. It incorporates some low-observable stealth features and light armor. The superstructure is made of aluminum.

   The Independence class can operate one highly capable MH-60 Seahawk helicopter and up to two MQ-8 Fire Scouts (small unmanned helicopters) on its large helicopter pad. In addition, vessels of this class can launch speedboats and unmanned surface vehicles.

   The US Navy is currently proposing to integrate ASW, surface-to-surface, and Anti-Air capabilities into the basic design, removing the need to switch out mission modules. This development program is currently called the Small Surface Combatant. It appears that this new, larger design will enter production in 2019, featuring increased armor, 25-mm auto cannons, torpedo countermeasures, upgraded decoys, improved electronic warfare equipment, a new over-the-horizon missile, and better radar, among other changes.

   The Independence class has Sea Giraffe radar.

 

Name Laid down Launched Commissioned Status
USS Independence (LCS-2) 2006 2008 2010

active, in service

USS Coronado (LCS-4)

2009 2012 2014

active, in service

US Jackson (LCS-6) 2011 2013 2015

active, in service

USS Montgomery (LCS-8)

2013 2014 expected in 2016

under construction

USS Gabrielle Giffords (LCS-10)

2014 2015 expected in 2016

under construction

USS Omaha (LCS-12)

2015 2015 expected in 2016

under construction

USS Manchester (LCS-14)

2015 expected in 2016 ?

under construction

USS Tulsa (LCS-16)

2016 ? ?

under construction

USS Charleston (LCS-18)

? ? ?

under construction

USS Cincinnati (LCS-20) ? ? ?

planned

USS Kansas City (LCS-22)

? ? ?

planned

USS Oakland (LCS-24)

? ? ?

planned

? (LCS-26)

? ? ?

planned

 

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Independence class

Independence class

Independence class

Independence class

Independence class


 
Independence class

Independence class


 
Independence class

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