The US Defence Secretary, Chuck Hagel, has approved the US Navy’s plan to move forward with a multimission small surface combatant based on modified littoral combat ship (LCS) hull designs.

The move will enable the navy to build a new small surface combatant (SSC) vessel, which can better survive active volatile security threats.

The decision follows continual criticism about the cost and feasibility of the LCS programme, involving design and construction issues, as well as budget overruns.

Designed to be smaller, faster and more versatile, the LCS vessels were intended for operations in littoral waters, which are shallower and near to shore.

How well do you really know your competitors?

Access the most comprehensive Company Profiles on the market, powered by GlobalData. Save hours of research. Gain competitive edge.

Company Profile – free sample

Thank you!

Your download email will arrive shortly

Not ready to buy yet? Download a free sample

We are confident about the unique quality of our Company Profiles. However, we want you to make the most beneficial decision for your business, so we offer a free sample that you can download by submitting the below form

By GlobalData
Visit our Privacy Policy for more information about our services, how we may use, process and share your personal data, including information of your rights in respect of your personal data and how you can unsubscribe from future marketing communications. Our services are intended for corporate subscribers and you warrant that the email address submitted is your corporate email address.

Claimed to be more lethal and survivable, the modified LCS ship aims to provide multimission anti-surface warfare (SUW) and anti-submarine warfare capabilities (ASW), in addition to continuous and effective air, surface and underwater defence.

"The modified LCS ship aims to provide multimission anti-surface warfare (SUW) and anti-submarine warfare capabilities (ASW)."

In addition to the existing LCS Flight 0+ baseline configurations integrating the 57mm gun and SeaRAM missile system, the new vessel will feature over-the-horizon surface-to-surface missiles, air defence upgrades and an advanced electronic warfare system.

The ship will also be armed with advanced decoy, a towed-array system for submarine detection and torpedo defence, two 25mm guns and an armed helicopter capable of engaging with either Hellfire missiles or MK-54 torpedoes. It also features an unmanned FireScout helicopter for surveillance, reconnaissance and targeting.

Alongside enhanced weapon system capabilities, the SSC will include improved passive measures, improving the overall survivability of the vessel.

The increased lethality and survivability will enable the modified LCS to operate independently and as a part of an aggregated force.

The new vessels will add to the planned 32 LCS vessels, bringing the overall SSC fleet to 52.

Image: LCS USS Fort Worth moored at Apra Harbor on US Naval Base Guam. Photo: courtesy of the US Navy / JoAnna Delfin.

Defence Technology