US Navy recognizes design flaw in Freedom-class LCS

When the first Littoral Combat Ship, the USS Freedom, entered service, the US Navy was full of praise for its new technological nugget. The Coastal Multipurpose Warship Program, which is based on two distinct classes Freedom and Independence, was to be a revolution in modern naval combat. Highly automated, the LCS included in particular a modular structure allowing the ship to embark, in the form of containers, various tactical modules, whether it was to set up commando units, to carry out mine warfare actions, or to conduct anti-submarine warfare operations. In addition, the Freedom class corvettes had a brand new propulsion system allowing powerful accelerations, and a top speed of nearly 50 knots.

Unfortunately, the initial enthusiasm quickly giving way to an endless chain of disappointments, and the program was only sustained through the repeated intervention of the Senate, which has repeatedly refused the US Navy to cancel remaining ships on order. In question, operational capacities and a very insufficient fire power in view of the evolutions of threats, even in littoral zone, the failure of the modular design which leaves the ships in a standard format unable to carry out ASM or war missions of the mines, and a fragile and failing propulsion system for the 17 Freedom-class units.

The Freedom class LCS were initially supposed to reach speeds of the order of 50 knots, but are now evolving at 10 or 12 knots due to failures of the propulsion system

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