Military


Littoral Combat Ship Modules

The Navy's Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) will perform mine countermeasures, surface warfare, and antisubmarine warfare missions using modular mission packages. Packages include weapons and sensors that operate from MH-60 helicopters or unmanned underwater, aerial, or surface vehicles. Initial packages are partially capable. They include engineering development models and some, but not all, systems planned. Mission capability improves with each package delivered until it reaches a baseline capability of production-representative systems.

LCS is significantly different from other classes of warships in a number of ways. The two most noteworthy are an aggressive spiral development acquisition process that begins deploying and employing LCS while still working out major operational and ship design details, and the design of mission modules that allows each LCS to have the flexibility and adaptability to quickly reconfigure from one warfare specialty to another.

The LCS seaframe without any mission module is a warship with warfare capabilities. It has sensors and weapons, is capable of safe navigation, receives and contributes to the Common Tactical Picture (CTP) and performs limited operational tasking consistent with its capabilities. When a mission module with support personnel is embarked, the now mission focused LCS presents considerably more capabilities than the seaframe, to include defensive capabilities.

The modular Mission Packages are a central feature of the LCS design and will provide the main war fighting capability and functionality for specific mission areas. A Mission Package may consist of a combination of modules, manned and unmanned off-board vehicles, deployable sensors, and mission manning detachments. The modules will be integrated in the ships' module stations or zones. The ship's module stations will have defined volumes, structures, and support service connections.

The LCS design must meet the critical performance parameter requirements for mission reconfigurability. The ship's open system architecture will affordably maximize lifecycle flexibility foruse of future systems upgrades and required mission systems change-out. This will facilitate the separate production and platform integration ofmodular mission systems. The major elements of the open systems architecture, module stations, functional element zones, standard interfaces, links, controls etc., will be designed to accommodate future Mission Packages, future ship flights, and technology refresh. Mission packages, to the greatest extent possible, should integrate into the Seaframe's core command and control architecture to minimize the use ofunique equipment.

In all mission configurations the LCS shall have core systems that provide the capability to conduct precise navigation to avoid previously identified minefields, and enable the employment of off-board or onboard sensors to perform mine avoidance along the LCS' intended track. When equipped with the appropriate Mission Package, the LCS will conduct mine warfare missions along its intended track and in operational areas as assigned with on-board and off-board systems from deep water through the beach. Mission requirements may dictate employing different package configurations on multiple LCSs.

Intellience Surveillance and Reconnaissance

In all mission configurations the LCS shall have core systems that provide that level of persistent ISR consistent with the use ofinstalled apertures, automated data collection, storage and processing: emphasizing LCS as an information node for through-put. ISR coverage will include surface, overland and electronic domains, When equipped with the appropriate Mission Package, the LCS will provide enhanced collection and onboard processing capabilities using onboard systems and off-board vehicles and sensors and in some cases embarked detachments that include the capability to conduct Information Operations (TO), Electronic Warfare (EW), Military Deception (MILDEC), Operational Security (OPSEC), Computer Network Defense/Attack (CND/CNA), and Psychological Operations (PSYOP). The LCS will have the command and control architecture and systems to conduct ISR planning and coordination, make near-real-time input to enhance decision making, and facilitate order generation, weapons direction and ship system monitoring and control. The Mission Package will enable LCS to:

  • Use organic and non-organic resources to conduct surveillance and reconnaissance operations with onboard and off board equipment.
  • Use organic and non-organic resources to collect, process and disseminate strategic, operational and tactical information.
  • Use ISR planning, coordination and execution tools.

Maritime Intercept Operations

The LCS will have the inherent core capability to support MIO due to the LCS' speed, agility, and shallow draft, and have the core capability to conduct warning and disabling fire, When equipped with the proper Mission Package, the LCS will have the capability to:

  • Perform maritime interception and interdiction operations.
  • Provide staging areas for MIO teams.
  • Provide a secure holding area detainees.
  • Employ, reconfigure, and support MH-60 and smaller rotary wing aircraft for MIO.

Homeland Defense (HLD)

The LCS will have the inherent core capability to support the HLD by providing rapid movement of small groups of personnel and material due to the LCS' speed, agility, and shallow draft. When equipped with the proper Mission Package, the LCS will perform operations to support national and coalition policy. In support of national security and HLD objectives, the ship will be capable of supporting and conducting missions in coordination with the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG). The Mission Package will enable LCS to:

  • Perform maritime interception, interdiction and law enforcement operations.
  • Provide staging areas for boarding teams.
  • Conduct maritime Law Enforcement Operations (LEO) including counter-narcotic operations with embarked law enforcement detachment.
  • Provide emergency, humanitarian, and disaster assistance.
  • Support JSOF hostage rescue operations.
  • Conduct marine environmental protection.
  • Perform naval diplomatic presence operations.
  • Employ, reconfigure, and support MH-60 and smaller rotary wing aircraft for HLD, and AT/FP operations.

Antiterrorism/Force Protection (AT/FP)

The LCS will have the inherent core capability to conduct AT/FP through its speed, agility, and shallow draft. When equipped with the proper Mission Package will:

  • Perform maritime interception, interdiction and law enforcement operations.
  • Provide staging areas for boarding teams.
  • Conduct maritime Law Enforcement Operations (LEO) including counter-narcotic operations with embarked law enforcement detachment.
  • Provide AT/FP to U.S. and friendly forces against attack in port, at anchorage, and during period ofrestricted maneuvering. Defensive capability will incorporate both passive design and active weapon measures, including non-lethal mechanisms, that can deter, delay, and defend against attack by terrorist and unconventional threats,
  • Employ, reconfigure, and support MH-60 and smaller rotary wing aircraft for HLD, and AT/FP operations.

Naval Special Warfare

The LCS will have the inherent core capability to provide rapid movement of small groups of SOF personnel and material due to the LCS' speed, agility, and shallow draft. When equipped with the appropriate Mission Package, the LCS will have the following SOF capabilities:

  • Support Naval Special Warfare (NSW) Task Unit and surface/subsurface combatant craft and mobility platforms, or their JSOF equivalent including weapons and equipment stowage, berthing, C4ISR connectivity and space within the hull for mission planning and rehearsal.
  • Launch, recover, and conduct organic maintenance on multiple embarked and organic craft specified in section 3.1.
  • Support Marine Expeditionary Unit (Special Operations Capable) [MEU(SOC)] and JSOF hostage rescue operations, aircraft operations for helicopters such as the MH-60S.
  • Support maritime Special Operations with the capability to refuel MK V Special Operations Craft (SOC) and follow-on (Special Operations Forces) Medium Range Insertion Craft (MRTC).
  • Support SOF in Noncombatant Evacuation Operations (NEO).
  • Provide compressed air (diver quality) for the SEAL Delivery Vehicle (SDV).
  • Embark a Fly Away Recompression Chamber (FARC).
  • Support and conduct Combat Search and Rescue (CSAR) operations.
  • Support a Tactical Sensitive Compartmented Information Facility (TSCIF).

Special Operations Forces

The LCS will have an array of inherent capabilities including Joint Littoral Mobility, Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance, Special Operations Forces support, Maritime Interdiction Operations, Homeland Defense, and Anti-Terrorism/Force Protection.

The LCS' speed, agility, and shallow draft will give it the inherent capability to provide rapid movement of small groups ofpersonnel and material. When equipped with the appropriate Mission Package, the LCS will provide transport and limited lift capability to move personnel, supplies and equipment within the littoral operating environment. The Mission Package will enable LCS to:

  • Provide facilities for secure stowage of transported materials and equipment.
  • Provide habitability support for transported personnel.
  • Replenishment and refueling at sea of MH-60 sized non-organic helicopters and SOF craft/boats.



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