The US Navy wants to quickly arm and specialize its Littoral Combat Ship

At the end of the 90s, two officers of the US Navy, Vice-Admiral Art Cebrowski and Commander Wayne Hughes, developed the concept of “Streetfighter”, a light combat ship (1000 tons), well armed, maneuverable and economical. (less than $ 100m per unit), to replace advantageously part of the OH Perry frigate fleet and even some destroyers in the inventory of the US fleet. These ships compensated for their low tonnage by their number, and were intended to meet the deployment needs of the US Navy, particularly in low and medium intensity areas. This concept quickly evolved towards the definition of a new type of ship, the Littoral Combat Ships, admittedly heavier, but more versatile, thanks to a system of modular capacities on board on demand on the vessel.

The rest, we know it. The development of the LCS program, of its two classes LCS Freedom and LCS Independance, and this famous modular approach encountered immense difficulties, leading the US military authorities to abandon this concept and build only weakly armed ships with reduced operational capacities. , and of questionable reliability. Several times the US Navy attempted to end the program, but US senators, for whom it represented many jobs and politically critical economic activity, repeatedly forced the Pentagon's hand, forcing the Pentagon to effectively command and order. finance the construction of 35 ships. But if, at the beginning of the 2010s, the US Navy could still afford to spend significant funds and personnel because of its naval supremacy, the very rapid rise of the Chinese fleet, and the renewal of the capabilities of the Russian fleet, now requires it to find operational use for these ships, as it recently did with the Zumwalt class destroyers.

Although they are designed for speed, the Freedom class LCS have shown a significant fragility of their innovative propulsion system, forcing the US Navy to suspend their delivery until the manufacturer can guarantee their proper functioning.

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