Washington, May 11 (ANI): The US Navy has come out with America's next generation of warship that is designed to tackle the modern threats of piracy and terrorism. The Littoral Combat Ship is a new generation high-speed warship designed to carry out a range of operations
With a top speed of 50 knots (60 mph), the Littoral Combat Ship (LCS), is a small, fast, manoeuvrable ship equipped to tackle almost any situation, reports The Telegraph.
Armed with 57-millimetre gun capable of 220 rounds per minute at a range of up to nine miles, four 12.7mm machine guns, and Raytheon SeaRAM missiles, this 370ft long vessel can also hold two SeaHawk helicopters if required.In addition to its undoubted firepower, automated 'smart ship' technologies greatly reduce the need for a large crew aboard an LCS ship, freeing space for 'specialised' teams to be housed on board.
A crew of around 40 sail and maintain the ship, whilst another crew of up to 35 are in place to carry out specialised missions, such as air defence, underwater warfare and surface attacks.
Whilst the capabilities of the LCS have generated a lot of enthusiasm within the US Navy, the production cost and speed of the program has been less than plain sailing.
Two shipbuilding teams, Lockheed Martin and General Dynamics, have been working on the LCS program since 2005.
Work started on the Lockheed Martin-designed USS Freedom (LCS-1) in 2005 and was eventually completed in 2008 with sea tests taking place in January of this year.
USS Independence (LCS-2), laid down by General Dynamics in 2005, will be completed later this year.
Projected costs were initially set at 220 million dollars per ship. The LCS-1 and LCS-2 could cost up to 500 million dollars each to build.
The US Navy is set to commission as many as 55 ships in the coming years. (ANI)