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LCS Independence Ships Out for MCM Package Test

USS Independence (LCS 2) departs San Diego for Pensacola, Fla., to conduct operational evaluation and testing of the mine countermeasures mission package. US Navy Photo

USS Independence (LCS 2) departs San Diego for Pensacola, Fla., to conduct operational evaluation and testing of the mine countermeasures mission package. US Navy Photo

The test ship for the U.S. Navy’s Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) mine countermeasure (MCM) mission package shipped out from Naval Station San Diego, Calif., last week.

USS Independence (LCS-2) is heading toward Naval Air Station Pensacola, Fla. for the major end-to-end evaluation of arguably the complicated mission package for the LCS program.

The test – set for this summer, Naval Sea Systems Command told USNI News – will be the most challenging test of the LCS concept to date.

The operational test and evaluation (IOT&E) will seek to prove four MCM distinct technologies in the first increment of the package –the MH-60S helicopter-deployed airborne laser mine detection system (ALMDS); the mine-killing airborne mine neutralization system (AMNS); the remote minehunting system (RMS), composed of the Lockheed Martin Remote Multi-Mission Vehicle (RMMV) and the Raytheon AQS-20A sonar.

“IOT&E is the event that will transition the mission package from testing to fleet use,” read a statement from the service.

A successful OPEVAL will prove out the Navy’s plan to replace its aging fleet of Avenger-class MCM ships that are among the oldest ships in the service.

In the voyage from California to Florida, Independence will transit Panama Canal and visit Cartagena, Columbia

  • Abdullah The Sheik of Tikrit

    These LCS boats are about as useful as a camel without a hump.

    • Secundius

      @ Abdullah The Sheik of Tikrit.

      I believe a Camel without a Hump is called a Horse…

      • old guy

        No, it’s a llama, or an alpaca, or a guanaco or a vicuna.

        • Secundius

          @ old guy.

          Could also be a “Push-Me-Pull-You” too (Doctor Doolittle, 1967)…

          • old guy

            I know, I know (the citation was not necessary)

        • redgriffin

          Still a very useful animal.

          • old guy

            If you deploy them to the ANDES.

          • Secundius

            @ old guy.

            Maybe it’s Fernando L-lama…

      • 2IDSGT

        …and is quite useful as I recall.


      What Was Brown & Always In Little Aisha’s Pampers?
      Mohammad’s Zib!!

  • old guy

    I’ll match my MSO against this hunk-a-junk, any day (even with my I/F engines).

    • USNVO

      The MSOs had Waukesha Diesels, as did AVENGER (MCM-1) and DEFENDER (MCM-2). It was only MCM-3 and later and the MHCs that suffered through with IF engines.

      • old guy

        That’s what you get with trade balance agreements. Did you know the I/F’s parts were not fully interchangeable?

      • Secundius

        @ USNVO.

        Somebody must have been on extremely tight dead line to use Specialized Tug Boat Diesels for propulsion on a Minesweeper. Engines were built for Torque, Not Speed…

      • old guy

        You’re right, of course. My old mind is slipping.

  • publius_maximus_III

    Don’t they paint ships anymore?

    • Secundius

      @ publius_maximus_III.

      Actually there are, but there all done by the shipyard’s. There’s:
      1. PSCCP, Plasma-Spray Ceramic Coating Process.
      2. EBPVD, Electron Beam Physical Vapor Deposition.
      3. APS, Air Plasma Spray.
      4. HVOF, High-Velocity Oxygen Fuel.
      5. ESAVD, Electrostatic Spray Assisted Vapor Desposition.
      6, DVD, Direct Vapor Desposition.

      Essentially your applying a protective coating and paint at the same time using a Leaf Blower…

  • old guy

    You could put that package on a refurbished FFG and save a bundle in SWF (Shipyard Welfare Funds)

  • SmallBoy

    The four capabilities planned for testing are all Mine Countermeasure HUNT capabilities. None of these capabilities support replacement of the Avenger Class MCM, which is our only Mine Countermeasure SWEEP surface asset. These capabilities will, however, allow replacement of the Osprey Class, which is an MC HUNT vessel (not SWEEP).

    • Secundius

      @ SmallBoy.

      Are you sure your not referring to the British Hunt class Minesweeper, because there is NO McHunt class on any US Shipbuilding program, anywhere…

      • James B.

        He’s referring to the difference between minehunting and minesweeping. Hunting takes a lot longer, because you have to find and destroy each mine individually.

        • Secundius

          @ James B.

          Why not just reintroduce something like the “Hedgehog” system, instead of explosive mortar projectiles use a Pneumatic Magnet Darts or 1-inch Ball Bearings System with a 270deg. arc coverage. When dart hit mine they explode, while others just sink to the bottom for possible later recovery. or a Navalized version of the M58 MICLIC. which when exploded sets off a pressure wave destroying any mine in the area. At 350-feet long and having 5-pounds of C4/linear foot…

  • Curtis Conway

    They finally found something this thing can do other than maintain station in a formation. It would make a pretty good plane guard, you would just have to refuel it every other day.

    • Secundius

      @ Curtis Conway.

      What’s that, ScanEagle or MQ-9 Reaper…

  • Secundius

    Using a Ericsson Erieye Phased-Array Pulse-Doppler Microwave Radar system underwater would also work underwater. Even with a detection speed 1/196,000th slower than the speed of light, gives you a speed value of 1,529.55335714m/sec. or 1/3 the speed of sound underwater. That’s still better than NOTHING…