USS Independence (LCS-2) is the lead ship of the Independence-class Littoral combat ship. Have an inside look at the new half billion dollar Navy’s most controversial ship. Watch the video…
The USS Independence built by General Dynamics Corp. and Austal Ltd., designed for agile maneuvers in shallow waters. The projected cost of each vessel has more than doubled to $440 million. The Navy is defending the multi-billion dollar program from criticism and the budget axe.
USS Independence (LCS-2) is the lead ship of the Independence-class littoral combat ship. She is the sixth ship of the United States Navy to be named for the concept of independence. The design was produced by the General Dynamics consortium for the Navy’s LCS program, and competes with the Lockheed Martin-designed Freedom variant.
Independence, delivered to the Navy at the end of 2009, is a modular high speed corvette, not known by that term in U.S. Navy service, intended for operation in the littoral zone with a small crew. It is optimized for deploying and tending off-board systems, manned and unmanned; and takes on various capability profiles with the installation of a mission package, missions to include finding and destroying mines, hunting submarines in and near shallow water, and engaging in surface combat against boats, but not against warships. The ship is a trimaran design with a wide beam above the waterline, which provides the space needed for it to have a larger flight deck than is found on any of the much larger destroyers and cruisers in the US Navy, as well as a large hangar and a similarly large mission bay below. The trimaran hull configuration also exhibits low hydrodynamic drag, allowing efficient operation on two diesel powered water jets at speeds up to 18 knots (33 km/h; 21 mph), and high speed operation on two gas turbine powered water jets at speeds up to a sustainable 44 knots (81 km/h; 51 mph), with speed crests exceeding that.
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