Home » Budget Industry » LCS Detroit Delivers to Navy


LCS Detroit Delivers to Navy

The future USS Detroit (LCS 7) conducts acceptance trials on July 14, 2016. Lockheed Martin Photo

The future USS Detroit (LCS 7) conducts acceptance trials on July 14, 2016. Lockheed Martin Photo

The fourth Freedom-class Littoral Combat Ship has delivered to the U.S. Navy ahead of an October commissioning, according to a Monday announcement from the service.

The Lockheed Martin Detroit (LCS-7) delivered to the service on Aug. 12 and is the eighth LCS to deliver to the service.

The ship is now in the hands of commander, LCS Squadron One, according to NAVSEA.

The San Diego-based, “COMLCSRON supports the operational commanders with warships ready for tasking by manning, training, equipping and maintaining littoral combat ships in the fleet,” read the Monday statement.
“Delivery marks the official transfer of LCS 7 from the shipbuilder, part of a Lockheed Martin-led team, to the Navy.”

The delivery follows the completion of acceptance trials in July where the Navy tested, “the performance of the propulsion plant, ship handling and auxiliary systems. While underway, the ship successfully performed launch and recovery operations of the 11-meter rigid-hull inflatable boat, conducted surface and air self-defense detect-to-engage exercises, and demonstrated the ship’s maneuverability,” according to the service.

The ship will commission in Detroit.

“The Lockheed Martin-led industry team is currently in full-rate production of the Freedom-variant, with six ships under construction at Fincantieri Marinette Marine (FMM) and three more in long-lead material procurement,” read a Monday statement from Lockheed Martin.

Little Rock (LCS-9) is set to undergo trials this fall while Sioux City (LCS-11) will undergo trails in 2017.

The 3,500-ton class, along with Austal USA’s Independence-class LCS, is a finalist for the Navy’s selection of the LCS follow-on frigate design in 2019.

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Categories: Budget Industry, News & Analysis, Surface Forces, U.S. Navy
Sam LaGrone

About Sam LaGrone

Sam LaGrone is the editor of USNI News. He was formerly the U.S. Maritime Correspondent for the Washington D.C. bureau of Jane’s Defence Weekly and Jane’s Navy International. He has covered legislation, acquisition and operations for the Sea Services and spent time underway with the U.S. Navy, U.S. Marine Corps and the Canadian Navy.

  • Corporatski Kittenbot 2.0

    That’s a very fine $600m patrol boat you have there.

    • Lazarus

      $479 million, and it has large helo facilities; something no patrol boat has.

      • Jffourquet

        the patrol boat is still cheaper. Are you suggesting we need a littoral helicopter carrier, and that is what the LSC is?

        • disqus_zommBwspv9

          or we could put a half dozen surveillance vessels like that USS Echo (IX-95) into commission.

      • Jffourquet

        It was suppose to cost $250milliom dollars, mission modules were suppose to swapped out in about two weeks. Now they cost 479million dollars, can not swap out mission modules and need to be modified to accept OTH missles (adding even more cost to the ship). No bargain hear, just a bad idea that should have been scrapped years ago.

        • Lazarus

          The FFG 7’s were supposed to cost $50m each when conceived of in 1973-75, but rose to $124m a unit by 1983. The inefficient US acquisition system is the enemy here, not individual ship programs like LCS.

      • Corporatski Kittenbot 2.0

        Add in the cost of those stupid non-functioning “mission modules” and it’s pushing $600m.
        Plus, it has a 1 helo capacity, big woop…. don’t make me list the dozens of patrol boats that are just as accommodating for 1/3rd the price.

        over half a billion dollars for a patrol boat.
        Embarassing.

        • Lazarus

          The ASW mission module approaches $100m. Please list the dozens of patrol boats that are as effective as LCS for $200m or less. Curious to know which do in your opinion?

          • Corporatski Kittenbot 2.0

            The 4 variants of the Sigma class are all sub-€200m
            Ditto for the Holland Class
            Then there is the Buque de Acción Marítima
            Thetis class
            Durango class…..

            I could go on, but I won’t.
            Essentially any OPV with a hanger and half the worlds corvette class ships are comfortably sub 200m..

            Most of which are equal to or superior to the US LCS patrol boats…. because the LCS doesn’t work despite the first ones being nearly half way through their lifespan.

            As I said, embarrassing.

          • Lazarus

            Good luck building those in the United States for those prices, even if built under license. In 2008, Morocco paid $1.2 billion for 3 Sigma corvettes. That’s just over $1.35 billion adjusted for inflation. Dutch labor costs are lower, as health care is a govt. and not a corporate responsibility in the Netherlands. The Damen group is a major commercial shipbuilder and like the Maersk group in Denmark, can afford to produce a warship for less than a dedicated military company like Lockheed Martin or General Dynamics. Of the 180 ships Damen produced in 2015, only 5 were military units, so perhaps those naval contracts are “loss leaders” where the company does not take as much profit as it does on commercial construction.

            Damen may no longer be partially govt. owned, but it benefits from the European socialized welfare system in that many costs borne by US companies are instead borne by the Dutch govt (and citizenry through higher taxes.)

            Are you a Damen corporate kitty?

  • gunnerv1

    Why?, Why is the Navy accepting these things when they have been proven that they can’t stand up to “Combat” Conditions. And I use to think that that the “KNOX” Class DE/FF (Commissioning” Crew/”Plank Owner KNOX”) were “Bait”. These things are worse than rotted bait. I guess that they fall under “They Were Expendable” like the wooden Patrol Boats of WWII fame (without the fame, but still expendable).

    • Lazarus

      I served on FF 1072. Not sure how much better the 1052 class would fare against modern cruise missiles in comparison with LCS. The 1052’s were ASW escorts. LCS is designed around its mission bays being the primary weapon “system”.

      • gunnerv1

        What was your ships name? I served on five of them while I was in Hawaii, Knox, Badger, Whipple (can’t think of the other two names right now)

        • Lazarus

          Blakely. Charleston-based ship. I remember seeing the decommissioned FF’s in West Loch when I first reported to Pearl Harbor in 1992.

    • Ed L

      I always like it when we had a couple of Knox Frigates of back then we even had a few of the Garcia class frigates (two 5 inch guns ) with us. Light on AAW they where but they were great if we needed Gun Fire support. Bet the Brass wish they still had them.

      • gunnerv1

        Yeah, if you keep a 5″/54 “tuned Up” it’ll run like a Top, but it takes long hours a a big fat PMS Deck to do it. The only thing bad about a One Gun ship is that it can’t provide “Counter Battery” fire for it’s self.

  • disqus_zommBwspv9

    What bugs me on top of the they still have not fixed the spray issue with the port Haws pipe. Plus these things only got one Anchor? All the Forecastle room and one lousy 2 pounder? If they cut the aviation area down there would be more room for weapons. Why so much room for helicopters if there are not enough to go around.

    • Lazarus

      Anchor detail should wash down anchor before housing it. LCS will not likely med moor, so perhaps not as much need for two anchors. Much of the weight is devoted to modular space rather than the sea frame which has minimal weapons and equippage.

      • disqus_zommBwspv9

        At Lazarus, I am aware of that. I was involve in quite a few sea and anchor details when we dropped the hook. That includes a mooring to a buoy and many Med Moors. If the LCS does have to med moor in a populated harbor. Harbor services will most likely provide a kedge anchor for a LCS. upon looking at the hull design it is a design issue that is causing the spraying of water up through the Hawes pipe.

        • Lazarus

          I cannot speak to the early designs of the LCS-1 variant anchor, but know of some of the hawes pipe issues. USNI does not do links, but here is part of a 2014 NAVSEA release on upgrades to the LCS-1 variant in light of problems experienced on Freedom. It may speak to the issues you mention:

          ““To prevent water ingestion in the anchor windlass room, the existing
          anchor winch, hydraulic unit and mooring capstan were replaced with a
          single electric capstan (chain) winch on the main deck. In addition,
          the existing towing chain was replaced with a lighter chain,” he said.”

          • disqus_zommBwspv9

            Towing chain? Oh, Anchor Chain, which works both ways. a lighter chain? So are there limitations while anchor in a roadstead when the wind and waves pick up. I take it you have heard of the USS Echo (IX-95)? it had a good war record.

          • Lazarus

            LCS has a lighter draft than other ships of its size which allows it to make use of more port facilities with shallow water. This feature of LCS may allow for more anchoring opportunities in shallow water. I think the rule that 5-7X the depth of water in shots veered to support an anchorage is still good for LCS, especially in more shallow anchorages.

          • Ed L

            yet, 5 to 7 is what we use to use in anchoring. Sometimes we would even anchor with Red on deck and the Engines in stand by while at deep anchorages.

    • tpharwell

      What makes you think they can ? If these people knew how to build ships, there would not be spray blasting up through a hole in the deck.

      Why so much room for helicopters ? Because they are heavily dependent on MH-60s for all forms of warfighting ability. But then again, maybe to have a reason to fix the problems with their airborne ASW and MCM gear. Plus, as you may have heard, we have an “aviation centric” Navy.

      That being the case, since these vessels are fit to only carry a maximum of 70 MT of JP-5, which their crews have license to burn in their turbines due to their limited endurance, and the fact that they can not take on a full fuel load and make weight, you might well wonder just how long they could maintain regular helo operations, such as sustained ASW patrols, of let us say, a mere 12 hours a day. They do not need any onboard ASW assets, you know. ‘Cause they can carry helicopters ! My guess is that their endurance will be the limiting factor concerning everything that one might wish to employ them to do, since, due to their excessive weight, and atrocious fuel economy, they can only remain at sea unreplenished for I hear, about 14 days.

      Quite a useless ship, that. Plenty fast, though. For a while.

      • Lazarus

        There are about 1700 liters in one metric ton. The MH-60R helo has a fuel capacity of about 2230 liters. That’s over 30 potential full tanks of aviation fuel for 2 helicopters. That’s a lot of fuel. The Perry class FFG’s only carried 58 MT (21,000 gallons) of JP-5.

        Not a useless aviation ship.

        • tpharwell

          Is that with the extra tanks or without ?

          • Lazarus

            Without extra tanks (on the helicopter itself I assume you are asking)

          • tpharwell

            Yes, I understand they can carry two external fuel tanks, which I recollect will double the capacity. But that is obviously at the expense of payload.
            Of course the missing metric, without which it is impossible to come to any sensible conclusions regarding this subject, is the average rate of fuel consumption while flying. In liters per hour, or pounds per hour, or whatever is considered more helpful. The question being, how much flying time does a tank load of jet fuel buy for an LCS. Then compare that figure with the ship’s own cruising endurance. I have tried to do a rough estimate of this myself. I found the facts not easy to come by.

  • John Locke

    Two ships of the Navy that require escorts CVN’s and LCS’s

  • Tom

    Ships “are delivered” they don’t deliver themselves. At least write in proper English

  • Stephen

    Small, fast, well-armed patrol craft & able to go shallow… PTs, PGs, even PHMs made more sense. Develop a tender with LCC/LSD features, acting as mothership to 6 patrol craft. All the littoral needs met. Instead, we get a propulsion nightmare with no teeth.

    • Lazarus

      PT’s, PG’s and PHM’s are not nearly as deployable as LCS. A forward deployed tender is a target in wartime. None of the ships you listed have helicopter facilities; a must in modern naval warfare. They would need heavy lift assets to arrive in good condition. Bugs are common in all new classes with so much new equipment.

      • Jffourquet

        And the LCS is not a target in war time!
        At best the LSC is a 3000 ton patrol craft. We did not need a 3000 ton ship to replace mine warfare craft and patrol craft. This is what happen when senior officers get bad ideas.
        Smaller craft supported by a tender are just as deployable, and like the LCS will need a DDG for protection, but would have been cheaper. As far as helicopter capability goes that could have been added to the tender as part of the design.

        • Lazarus

          Smaller craft like MCM’s and PC’s are not “just as deployable” in that they require heavy lift assets to move quickly and without damage to forward areas. Not every ship can be an AAW fortress. LCS in fact has a better AAW capability with SeaRam than the retiring FFG 7 with just a CIWS. LCS will rely on dispersion to avoid targeting. Few ships outside of a DDG can sustain more than a single ASCM salvo, so adding a DDG to “escort” an LCS really does nothing for either platform.

      • Stephen

        LCS is a highly complex vessel; I’m sure that the modular program will be a great success. Of course, one that works needs to be invented. The simple propulsion system on a PG compared to the whiz-bang, super gears in the LCS. Which one needs a standby tug? Ask the CG about the LCS; they can’t stop laughing!

        • Lazarus

          The USCG would probably like to have more than 8 LCS sized ships in their inventory. Maritime forces have differing requirements. The USCG does not need to field ASW or MiW capabilities.

          • Stephen

            LCS for ASW? Nope. MiW? Nope. The LCS is a flag-waving, helicopter transporter. This is money the USCG could have used in their Cutter modernization. USN will start to modify/upgrade the LCS to frigate status. We could buy Corvettes from Allies; so much cheaper…

          • Lazarus

            Good luck getting Congress to fund any warship built by a non US-based shipbuilder.No guarantee that those ships would be cheaper. Nations with a record of cheap ships like Denmark (for example) have relationships with industry including govt. ownership of up to 55% of the company (such as France’s FMC corp.) The US also has a unique acquisition and test and analysis system that substantially drives up the cost of even simple platforms.

      • vetww2

        You misspelled DEPLORABLE.

    • Jffourquet

      Never happen, that makes sense! Instead we will built these so called cheap surface combatants and then spend hundreds of billions more on each ship to make it capable of real combat. But who cares it is only tax payer money, the admirals get ships now and a post service job w/ Lockheed.

      • Lazarus

        By that argument ANY admiral who goes to work for a defense company after retirement is an evil exploiter of taxpayer dollars. Flags do not stay in the Navy for decades in order to get jobs at defense contractors.

    • vetww2

      GET out of here with your logical thinking. Modernized PHMs are the best answer. FAST, Long range, Foils up, VERY shallow water and 2500 mile range. Foils down, 60 kts and outmaneuver or shoot down ASMs.

      • Lazarus

        PHM’s had a range from 750-1100 nm depending on foil or displacement mode of operational. LCS has double this range. PHM’s also did not have any weapon capable of shooting down an antiship missile, unless one hopes a 76mm shell MIGHT hit.

  • John Locke

    OOD to CO: “Sir we have a feather on the starboard quarter”
    CO: “Damn, well turn around and go back to port and get the ASW module”

  • disqus_zommBwspv9

    Question, why is there a helicopter hanger on these ship? they just need a hatch big enough to drag a drone through. all that wasted space. Or is it a requirement from the Naval aviation community. Bring back copies of the USS Echo. They would make great observation platforms.

    • Lazarus

      Most of the modular assets depend to some degree on the MH 60 helicopter. Both LCS variants can support two MH 60’s or one helo and three firescout drones. All this makes for an impressive, potential LCS air group when multiple LCS operate as a flotilla.

      • vetww2

        Keep on dreaming. Even the most ardent LCS advocate doesn’t claim that either version has the capability to support, INDEPENDENTLY, 2 helos. As for the drones, you can put them on riverine boats, a lot cheaper. Hail to Project SWIPE.(Shipyard Welfare Investment Program .; Expensive)

        • disqus_zommBwspv9

          There are never enough Helicopters. I remember the Perry’s sharing helicopters. There was always a shortage of helicopters and there will always be a shortage of helicopters. Waste of space those helicopters hangers. Unless you want to stage a F-35B on one.

        • Lazarus

          I know a number of CO’s from both variants and both say their LCS can support 2 MH 60 helos.

  • muzzleloader

    They could double the ship’s firepower by adding 2 12 gauge shotguns to the small arms locker…

  • gunnerv1

    The only thing good about them so far is “Twin-Water Jet” Propulsion System over the “Single Screw” 1200 lb Steam System of the Knox Class/ Oliver Hazard Perry Class (FF/FFG)