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Littoral Combat Ship

The Littoral Combat Ship (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 "anti-access" threats such as mines, quiet diesel submarines and fast surface craft. The LCS class consists of two variants, the Freedom variant and the Independence variant.

Mission modules

The LCS seaframes are outfitted with reconfigurable payloads, called mission modules (made up of mission systems and support equipment), which can be changed out quickly. These modules combine with crew detachments and aviation assets to become complete mission packages, which will deploy manned and unmanned vehicles and sensors in support of mine countermeasures, anti-submarine warfare, or surface warfare missions.

Surface Warfare mission module

The SUW mission module provides the capability to detect, classify, track, and engage multiple groups of small boats, and it can be configured with the Maritime Security Module (MSM) for Maritime Interdiction Operations (MIO), Visit, Board, Search and Seizure (VBSS), drug and counter piracy operation. The ship’s speed, SUW MP capabilities, manned and unmanned aviation assets, extend the ship’s surveillance and attack potential.

Mine Countermeasures mission module

The MCM mission module provides mine detection, neutralization, and sweeping utilizing both helicopters and unmanned vehicles and supports joint operations conducted ahead of or concurrent with power projection forces.

Anti-Submarine mission module

The ASW mission module is designed to provide anti-submarine capabilities while operating in a littoral (deep and shallow) water environment. Operating in conjunction with other fleet assets, it is a force multiplier that specializes in providing first response littoral ASW capabilities, to include: ASW prosecution in shallow waters; barrier operations/sustainment of secure maneuver area; direct support to a carrier strike group (CSG), expeditionary strike group (ESG), amphibious ready group (ARG), surface action group (SAG), or maritime prepositioning forces in a littoral environment; high value unit escort; and operational deception.

Freedom Class Littoral Combat Ship