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Mission Packages Key to LCS Capabilities

Navy NewsStand

Story Number: NNS100113-04
Release Date: 1/13/2010 7:00:00 PM

By L.t. Sean Riordan, Naval Surface Forces Public Affairs

MOBILE, Ala. (NNS) -- The littoral combat ship (LCS) is revolutionary in its use of modularity and open-architecture to ensure it is able to adapt to the ever-changing threat environment.

"LCS has some core capabilities, but it is largely self-defensive," said Capt. Michael Good, program manager, LCS Mission Modules. "The embarkable mission package augments the sea-frame and gives LCS offensive capabilities in three focused mission areas: mine countermeasures, anti-submarine warfare and surface warfare."

"We're more versatile," said Lt. Cmdr. James Schmitt, the pilot of an MH-60S helicopter that arrived aboard Pre-Commisioning Unit Independence (LCS 2) Jan. 12. "It is part of the master plan to incorporate more capabilities into fewer platforms." Schmitt said the helicopter is specifically designed for the mine countermeasures mission, but it is still able to support other needs the ship may have.

The MH-60S, from Naval Surface Warfare Center Panama City Division, along with mine countermeasure equipment from LCS Mine Countermeasures (MCM) Detachment 1, represents a mission package that can be assembled to meet the specific and changing demands of the maritime strategy.

Mineman 1st Class Ricardo Contreras, who served on a mine countermeasures ship and is now as part of the LCS MCM detachment, was impressed with the improvements.

"Since the mission module allows us to be on an LCS, we can go where we need to go a lot quicker and the unmanned vehicles allow us to reduce the risk necessary to accomplish the mission."

LCS is a fast, agile, mission-focused ship that demonstrates the latest in naval warfighting technology. The ship is specifically designed to defeat "anti-access" threats in shallow, coastal water regions, including fast surface craft, quiet diesel submarines, and mines. To meet the combatant commander's increased demand for mission-tailored forces packages, LCS features an interchangeable modular design that allows the ship to be reconfigured to meet mission requirements.

Independence will be commissioned Jan. 16 in Mobile, Ala. Following commissioning, Independence will conduct further testing and evaluation before eventually heading toward its homeport in San Diego.

For more news from PCU Independence (LCS 2), visit

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