What is a Littoral Combat Ship?

In my last post, I referenced the USS Fort Worth, the newest class of ship deployed by the US Navy; the Littoral Combat Ship.  These ships are of a modular design, meaning that they can be configured to complete different kinds of missions.   The LCS is primarily a shallow-water vessel, meant to patrol coastlines and harbors.  They can be configured to hunt subs, sweep mines, or patrol coastlines and interdict smaller vessels.  The ships are small, very fast, and use some of the latest technology to do their job.  There is one big problem with this ship class, though; the Navy doesn’t have as many of them as it wants.  I’ve written about this before, here, here, and here.

USS Fort Worth.  Photo from Wikipedia.

USS Fort Worth. Photo from Wikipedia.

I’m publishing this article to give y’all something to reference in the coming months and years, as ships like the USS Fort Worth become referenced in more news articles, as they are bound to be.

I’ve been reading a lot of recent discussion of the role of the aircraft carrier in the future of naval warfare.  Rest assured, aircraft carriers are not obsolete, as some have suggested, but their role in future conflicts may change, as new means of striking large targets are brought to bear by the Russians and the Chinese.

Y’all may have noticed, in some recent posts on this site, that Russia and China are both probing air defenses and increasing their naval presences around the world.  Neither Russia, nor China, have anywhere close to as many large aircraft carriers as the United States, nor are they planning to build enough carriers to rival the United States Navy.  I’m asking myself why that is the case, and I’m pretty sure I’m not the only one.  I’m just a toenail-biting redneck down here in Alabama, after all.

I think the LCS is one answer to the many questions surrounding the future of naval warfare and power-projection, and something that will be in the news more often, as the US Navy tries it’s best to respond to potential threats around the globe; something it is required to do with fewer and fewer ships.

Take a look at the short video below, for an idea of what life aboard a Littoral Combat Ship is like.