Coastal Warships: Modern Approach

23 September 2006 in the world shipbuilding an extraordinary event occurred: in the city of Marinette, Wisconsin (USA), the world's first ship of a new class — coastal warship — was launched from the Marinette Marine Shipyard of the Gibbs & Cox corporation with the symbolic name "Freedom" ("Freedom"), designed to embody the idea of ​​superiority of the US Navy in the shallow and coastal areas of the oceans in the XXI century.

Coastal Warships: Modern Approach

Coastal Battle Ship LCS-1 "Freedom" after launching 23 in September 2006.



The program for the construction of ships of this class is one of the priorities of the development of the US Navy, the purpose of which is to introduce into the naval squadron over 50 coastal warships. Their distinctive features should be high speed and maneuverability, promising armament complexes made according to the modular principle, and the main tasks are the struggle against the "asymmetric threat" for the US nuclear-missile ocean fleet in coastal waters, which is seen in the face of low-noise diesel submarines, mines productions and high-speed combat boats of the enemy.

The birth of a new concept

The emergence of a new class of ships in the US Navy is not accidental. Since the beginning of 1990, the geopolitical picture of the world began to change dramatically: new states appeared and old ones disappeared, but most importantly, the Soviet Union collapsed, as a result of which the global confrontation between the two superpowers ended and the world became "unipolar." At the same time, the military doctrines of the leading Western states, which had previously seen the most probable enemy in the USSR, began to change. The Pentagon was not an exception, where it was quickly realized that the so-called local conflicts that arise in the most diverse regions of the world became the most common at the end of the 20th century. Thus, the reorientation of the fleet to new tasks began, which became operations in the coastal zone, including support for the landing of the landing force, as well as zonal air and missile defense at sea. In addition, in the context of gaining dominance in the coastal zone, anti-submarine and anti-mine defense of ships and formations were also identified.

This new concept of using the fleet in alleged conflicts, combined with the rapid development of modern military technology, predetermined the revision of the combat strength of the US Navy. In the new century it was planned to build warships of a new generation. Initially, the prospective destroyers DD-21 were thought, and ultimately they should have been the destroyers DD (X), the CG (X) cruisers, and warships of coastal superiority, or Littoral Combat Ships. About them further and will be discussed.


Project image of a coastal zone warship developed by the group of companies headed by Lockheed Martin


It is worth making a small digression and recall that the ships of the coastal zone (Littoral Combatants) abroad always referred to classes of small and medium displacement ships operating mainly along the coast: corvettes, attack and patrol boats, mine-sweeping ships, coast guard ships. And the word Littoral itself has a direct translation meaning “coastal”. Now in the US Navy the term Littoral Combat Ship (abbreviated to LCS) is defined as a new class (perhaps temporarily). And in many Russian-speaking sources they began to use this word without translation, as a result of which the unofficial term “littoral warships” appeared. The principal difference in this class of ships was that they were intended to operate primarily off the coast of the enemy.

So, already in the 1991 year (simultaneously with the collapse of the USSR) in the United States began the development of operational and technical requirements for surface warships that would meet the tasks of the fleet in the new millennium. Since January, 1995 of the year, the Surface Combatant-21 program (Surface Combatant-21) has been analyzed according to the “cost-effectiveness” criterion of many variants of warships of different classes, as well as their combinations as part of ship formations. As a result, a recommendation was made that the most appropriate is the creation of a family of universal surface ships created under a single program.

The concept of the new surface ship, which received the symbol DD-21, was worked out since December 2000, when a contract was signed with the development companies for the amount of 238 million US dollars for the development of a draft design of the destroyer of a new generation for preliminary demonstration and evaluation of its main characteristics. The design was conducted on a competitive basis between the two groups, one of which was headed by General Dynamics Bath Iron Works together with Lockheed Martin Corporation, and the second by Northrop Grumman's Ingalls Shipbuilding together with Raytheon Systems. In November, the 2001 of the year, the DD-21 program was revised, after which it was further developed under the name DD (X). Now, in addition to the destroyer, it was also planned to create a zone / anti-missile cruiser under the designation CG (X), as well as a multipurpose ship to gain dominance in the coastal zone under the designation LCS. It was assumed that in the near future these ships would form the backbone of the US Navy percussion forces, along with destroyers of the Spruance and Arleigh Burke types, as well as cruisers of the UROs of the Ticonderoga type, while frigates of the fleet “Oliver H. Perry” type and “Avenger” type minesweepers.


Project image of a coastal zone warship developed by the group of companies headed by General Dynamics


In 2002, US Navy Chief of Staff Vern Clark presented the naval forces strategy for the Sea Power 21 Century (Sea Power-21) to Congress and, as its component, the operational concept Sea Shield, according to which There were preliminary studies of the ship of the coastal zone. The concept of “Sea Shield” was designed to provide a favorable operational environment for the naval strike forces and the invading forces, that is, their anti-aircraft, anti-missile, anti-submarine and anti-mine defenses in the sea zone immediately adjacent to the enemy’s territory. According to Vern Clark, warships of the coastal zone were to occupy that niche of naval operations, where the use of ships of the ocean zone is either too risky or too expensive. Since, in spite of the fact that modern combat ship systems make it possible to operate effectively in the open sea, the threats emanating from diesel submarines, missile boats and mine weapons enemy, can complicate or even disrupt the military operations carried out in the coastal zone. From this point on, the LCS program received a green light.

Based on the foregoing, it is possible to make an unequivocal conclusion that warships of the coastal zone will have to become an organic complement to the main attack forces, operating in coastal and shallow areas of the sea against low-noise non-nuclear submarines of the enemy, his surface ships of medium and small displacement, identifying and destroying mine positions , as well as coastal defense facilities. Thus, the fleet will achieve full superiority in the coastal zone. As noted by the US Navy Commander Gordon Ingland: “Our task is to create a small, high-speed, maneuverable and fairly inexpensive ship in the family of warships DD (X), which would have the ability to quickly retrofit, depending on the specific combat missions cruise missiles and special operations forces. " Among other things, the new ship was also conceived as one of the key elements of the FORCEnet system, a military computer network providing tactical and intelligence information exchange between individual combat units (ships, submarines, naval aviation, ground forces, etc.) that promptly supplied the command with all the necessary data.


Design of a coastal warship

As it is known, at present there are many “hot spots” in the world, where in coastal areas the threat of attack from the enemy with the involvement of minimal forces and means is very high. One of the events that prompted the early revision of the concept of fleet use in coastal waters was the incident with the destroyer DDG-67 "Cole" of the US Navy, which was attacked on October 12 in the port of Aden (Yemen). Launched with explosives, the boat left an impressive hole in the side of an expensive modern warship and put it down for a long time. As a result, 2000 took months to repair, which took 14 million US dollars to repair.


LCS-1 "Freedom" is in full swing on the teachings of RIMPAC


After the approval of the LCS program, its priority budget financing was announced, and by September 2002 the tactical and technical tasks had been formulated. After the tender, six contracts worth 500 thousand dollars each were concluded, and the entire 3 month was released to conduct the pre-sketch design! By the due date, February 6 of 2003, the US Navy command was presented with six different conceptual studies: two skeg-type hovercraft, two single-hull ships with a deep V type, one trimaran with outrigers and one semi-loaded catamaran with a small waterline area. Ultimately, after comprehensive evaluations, in July 2003, the customer selected three consortiums with which they signed contracts for the implementation of draft design. The following year, contractors presented the following draft designs:

• One-hull displacement-type ship with outlines of a “deep V” hull and water cannons as the main propellers. The development was carried out by a consortium led by Lockheed Martin, which also included Bollinger Shipyards, Gibbs & Cox, Marinette Marine. The project was first unveiled in April 2004, during the Aerospace and Naval Exhibition in Washington, DC.
A distinctive feature of the ship was the shape of the semi-displacement type hull, or “sea blade” (sea blade). Previously, this design was used in the design of small high-speed civilian courts, and now it is applied to larger ones. In particular, the high-speed ferry MDV-3000 "Jupiter", built by the Italian company "Finkantieri", whose experts also participated in the design of LCS, has a similar hull shape.

• Trimaran with outriggers and outlines of the main hull of the wave-piercing type (wave piersing), and also with water cannons as the main propellers. The main development was carried out by the Bath Iron Works Division of the concern General Dynamics, as well as by the companies Austal USA, BAE Systems, Boeing, CAE Marine Systems, Maritime Applied Physics Corp..

Here the rich experience of building civilian trimarans by Austal was taken into account and previously used solutions were used to the maximum. The prototypes were the English experienced trimaran "Triton" and the Australian civilian "Benchijigua Express", which showed high seaworthiness, handling and stability during operation.

• Skeg type double-hull hovercraft made of composite materials. The main contractor is Raytheon, as well as John J. Mullen Associates, Atlantic Marine, Goodrich EPP, Umoe Mandal.


LCS-2 "Independence" view from the nose. The 57-mm gun mount, integrated mast and antenna posts are clearly visible.


The project was developed on the basis of the Norwegian small patrol ship Skjold. The Russian hull rocket ships “Bora” and “Samum” of the 1239 project, designed in the USSR and commissioned in the new Russia, have a similar hull design.

Of the three projects listed above, the latter was ultimately rejected by 27 May 2004, despite a number of original solutions. Further work was carried out by a consortium led by Lockheed Martin and General Dynamics.

Despite the fact that the developers used a different approach to designing a promising coastal ship, according to the terms of reference, their main characteristics were similar: displacement of no more than 3000 tons, draft of approximately 3 meters, full speed to 50 nodes at sea waves up to 3 points, range sailing up to 4500 miles at a speed of 20 knots, autonomy for about 20 days. The main originally defined feature of the new ships was their modular construction principle, which meant depending on the set s tasks installed on LCS combat systems and auxiliary systems for various purposes. The use of the principle of “open architecture” was specifically stipulated, which would allow relatively quickly in the future, without carrying out a large amount of work, to introduce new technical means to ships and use the most modern technologies. As a result, homogeneous connections of such ships would become a powerful and universal force, distinguished by high combat potential and maneuverability, as well as stealth actions. Thus, the developers needed to create a ship that would most fully satisfy the following requirements of the US Navy:


Tests of the NLOS vertical launch rocket. In the future they plan to arm the ships LCS


• act both offline and in cooperation with the forces and means of the armed forces of the allied states;
• solve tasks in conditions of intensive electronic countermeasures of the enemy;
• to ensure the operation of manned or unmanned aerial vehicles (with the ability to integrate helicopters of the MH-60 / SH-60 family), remote-controlled surface and underwater vehicles;
• be in a designated patrol area for a long period of time, both as part of a squad of warships, and in autonomous navigation;
• have an automatic control system for combat and other damage;
• have the lowest levels of physical fields (Stealth technology) to reduce ship visibility in different ranges;
• have the most effective economic speed during patrols and during distant ocean crossings;
• have a relatively small draft allowing operation in shallow areas of coastal waters;
• have a high combat survivability and the highest possible degree of crew security;
• have the ability to perform short-term maneuvers at maximum speed (for example, in the process of tearing off or pursuing submarines or speedboats of the enemy);
• be able to detect targets beyond the horizon and destroy them before entering their own airborne weapons in the affected area;
• to have interfacing with modern and prospective control systems and communications of the Navy and other types of armed forces, including allied and friendly countries;
• be able to receive fuel and cargo on the go at sea;
• have a duplication of all major ship systems and weapon systems;
• and finally, have an acceptable purchase price and reduced operating costs.
Previously, the tactical-technical assignment issued by the US Navy Command to the developers provided for the possibility of installing interchangeable modules on the ship to solve the following priority tasks:
• anti-hacking defense of single ships and vessels, detachments of warships and ship convoys;
• performance of coast guard (border guard) ships;
• intelligence and surveillance;
• anti-submarine defense in the coastal areas of the seas and oceans;
• anti-mine operations;
• supporting the actions of special operations forces;
• operational logistics in the process of transferring troops, equipment and cargo.


LCS-2 Independence at the dock. The underwater part of the main hull and outriggers are clearly visible.


Creation of a ship with such capabilities occurred for the first time. The main feature of this scheme was that the ship was a platform, and each individually taken replaceable target module had to accommodate the entire weapon system (detection equipment, equipment, operator places, means of destruction). At the same time, the methods of communication between the combat module and general ship systems and data exchange channels were standardized. This would allow in the future to modernize the weapons of the ship, without affecting the platform itself.

First Swallow


The coastal ship of the FSF-1 Sea Fighter has a catamaran-type hull with a large landing deck


However, a year before the start of the draft design of the LCS, the Pentagon decided to build an experimental vessel on which to test the real concept of high-speed maneuverable warships with an unconventional design and with a modular construction principle.

As a result, the United States Naval Research Authority initiated the design and construction of an LSC (X) experimental ship of the coastal zone (Littoral Surface Craft - Experimental), called the Sea Fighter and FSF-1 (Fast Sea Frame). The catamaran-type hull with a small area of ​​the waterline was made of aluminum alloy and had a small draft. The two-part design provided high speed and seaworthiness, and four water jets were installed as propulsion units. But the main thing is that the ship was originally designed according to the modular principle, which was one of the main conditions for the implementation of this project. This made it possible to work out the principle of fast changing modules for various purposes, depending on the task. It was mandatory to ensure the take-off and landing of ship-based helicopters and unmanned aerial vehicles, and the use of small boats, including remote-controlled boats. To this end, the British company BMT Nigel Gee Ltd., which designed the ship, provided for an extensive landing area and a large useful volume of interior space with a through cargo deck, as on Ro-Ro ships. The appearance of the “Sea Fighter” turned out to be unusual - a wide spacious deck, reverse bevels of the sides, a small superstructure, shifted to the left side.


Feed FSF-1 Sea Fighter. The ramp for launching and lifting surface and underwater vehicles is clearly visible.


The ship was built at the shipyard of Nichols Brother's Boat Builders in Freeland, Washington. The order was placed on 15 on February 2003 of the year, laying the keel on 5 on June 2003 of the year, launching on 5 of February on 2005, and on 31 of May of the same year, he was accepted into the US Navy. «Sea Fighter» has a total displacement 950 tons greatest length 79,9 m (of waterline 73 m), a width 21,9 m, pellet 3,5 m Main power plant -. A combined diesel-gas turbine (two diesel MTU 16V595 TE90 and two gas turbine GE LM2500) . Diesels are used at economic speeds, and turbines are used to achieve full speed. Four Rolls-Royce 125SII jet propulsion systems allow the ship to reach speeds up to 50 knots (59 knots were under test), the cruising range is 4400 miles at a speed of just over 20 knots, the crew is 26 people. On the upper deck are equipped with two separate platforms, providing take-off and landing of helicopters and unmanned aerial vehicles at speeds up to full. For launching and boarding boats or underwater vehicles with a length of up to 11 meters, there is a feeding device with a retractable ramp located in the center plane. Under the upper deck is a compartment for 12 interchangeable combat modules, located on the board. Upstairs they rise by a special elevator, located immediately behind the superstructure. The use of weapons systems is provided mainly from helicopters and UAVs, but it is also possible to place modules with anti-ship missiles directly on the upper deck.

Table 1


Main tactical and technical characteristics of the US Navy FSF-1 "Sea Fighter" prototype ship

Date of entry into operation

November 31.05.2005, XNUMX

Housing design

catamaran with a small waterline area

Displacement, tons

950

Maximum length, m

79,9

Width is greatest, m

21,9

Draft, m

3,5

Type and composition of the GEM

2 x GTU GE LM2500

2 x DD MTU 16V595 TE90

4 x DG

Propellers

4 Water Jet Rolls-Royce 125SII

Full speed, knots

50

Range, miles / at speed, knots.

4400 / 20 +

Autonomy, days

20

Crew.

26

Armament:

up to 12 target modules with different weapons systems, underwater and surface remotely operated vehicles

Aircraft weapons:

two MH-60 / SH-60 "Sea Hawk" helicopters or six MQ-8 "Fire Scout" drones



The tests of Sea Fighter and its further operation immediately yielded positive results: the potential capabilities of the ships of this scheme were studied, the modular principle of the formation of on-board armaments was developed, allowing, depending on the type of module, to solve tasks that only specialized ships could do before. The obtained data was actively used by developers participating in the LCS creation program.

In addition, the command of the Navy and the US Coast Guard concluded that ships of the Sea Fighter type have a significant advantage when used as ships to ensure security and law and order in their internal waters, as well as to protect national interests in the maritime economic zone.

Prototypes and analogues


Swedish corvette K32 "Helsingborg" type "Visby" built with extensive use of technology "Stealth"


Of course, the “progenitor” of the LCS ships without special stretch can be considered the Swedish corvette YS2000 “Visby”, the design and construction of which was carried out by the company “Kockums” from the middle of the 1990's. This ship was revolutionary in many technical and layout solutions:

• It had an unusual architecture of flat panels with large angles of inclination using radio absorbing structural materials (composite plastic), which was dictated by the condition to reduce the visibility in X-ray and IR emission spectra;
• The weapons were made completely hidden flush inside the superstructures and the hull, which again was dictated by the condition of reduced visibility, and even the tower of the outside gun mount had a “subtle” design made of radio absorbing material with a retractable barrel. The mooring equipment and antenna posts are also placed in the same way, which usually increases the EPR;
• Powerful controlled water cannons were used as propellers, which gave the ship high speed and maneuverability, as well as allowed to operate safely in coastal shallow areas of the sea.

The introduction of the technology "Stealth" on this ship is closely connected with the peculiarities of its use. The corvette should operate in the coastal zone, where the presence of skerries, small islands and the broken coastline itself will serve as natural interference to the enemy's radar, making it difficult to detect it.

The "V-deep" hull contours give the Visby a good seaworthiness due to less hydrodynamic resistance. But another feature is the presence of a controlled transom plate, which reduces drag at high speeds, adjusting the trim aft. The superstructure, located in the middle part, is a single unit with the hull. Behind her is a helipad, which takes more than a third of the length of the ship, but there is no hangar, although space is reserved for the light helicopter or helicopter-type UAV under the upper deck. The ship's displacement is 640 tons, the main dimensions 73 x 10,4 x 2,4 meters, the diesel-gas turbine unit with a capacity of 18600 kW allows you to reach speeds of 35 knots, cruising range 2300 miles.

The main objectives of the “Visby” type corvettes were mine and anti-submarine defense of territorial waters, therefore, their weapons, in addition to 57-mm SAK 57 L / 70 artillery systems, include two 127-mm anti-submarine rocket bombers, four torpedo tubes for 400-mm anti-submarine torpedoes and remotely Double Eagle guided underwater vehicles for searching and destroying mines To illuminate the surface and underwater conditions, the ship is equipped with a Sea Giraffe radar and a Hydra hydroacoustic system with a subunit, towed and lowered GAS antennas.
In January 2001, the lead ship K31 "Visby" became part of the Swedish Navy, and behind it 2001 of the same type of corvette were sequentially built in 2007-4 (the order for the sixth was canceled due to the increased cost). At the same time, the fifth corps was originally created in a shock version and was armed with two quadruple launchers for the RBS-15M anti-ship missile system (instead of anti-mine devices) and a vertical launch system for the RBS-16 BAMSE 23 (in the place of the helicopter hangar).

In the future, Kockums continued to work on the ship of the ocean zone Visby Plus, which was supposed to be created on the same principle as Visby, but with a large displacement and enhanced armament. First of all, this project was focused on potential foreign customers, but, ultimately, it was never implemented.

Table 2


The main tactical and technical characteristics of the K31 “Visby” corvette of the Swedish Navy

Date of entry into operation

November 01.2005, XNUMX

Housing design

single-hull, from composite materials, contours - “deep V”, with controlled transom plate

Displacement, tons

640

Maximum length, m

72

Width is greatest, m

10,4

Draft, m

2,4

Type and composition of the GEM

4 x GTU TF50A (16000 kW)

2 x DD MTU 16V 2000 N90 (2600 kW)

Propellers

2 Water Jet

Full speed, knots

more 35

Range, miles / at speed, knots.

2300 / 18

Autonomy, days

15

Crew.

43

Armament:

1 x 57-mm AU SAK 57 L / 70

2 x 127-mm RBU "Alecto"

4 x 400-vv TA (torpedoes Tp45)

devices "Double Eagle"

Aircraft weapons:

light helicopter "Agusta"

Electronic weapons:

3-coordinate radar "Sea Giraffe"

EW station

CEROS 200 fire control radar

Navigation complex

SJS "Hydra"

Radio communication complex




Corvette P557 "Glenten" type "Flyvefisken" Danish Navy. Ships of this type had a modular weapon system.


However, the Swedish corvette "Visby", although it is the actual prototype of the American LCS, differs from it in the absence of modular design. But if you look at the approach to the ships of the coastal zone in Denmark, you can see that the Americans are not the first and the principle of modular replacement of weapons is already embodied in metal and quite successfully. Back in 1989, the P550 corvette “Flyvefisken”, developed using the Standard Flex 300 program, became part of the Danish Navy. The ship with a total displacement of 480 tons with basic dimensions 54 x 9 x 2,5 m initially had a design with standard cells (one in the bow and three in the stern) to load the combat modules depending on the task to be performed. Each cell for the installation of weapons systems contains a container size 3,5 × 3 × 2,5 m. The modules are represented by the following types:

• 76,2-mm universal gun mount OTO Melara Super Rapid;
• two 4-container launchers for the Harpoon RCC (later the RCC were placed in non-removable launchers behind the chimney);
• installation of vertical launch Mk56 VLS for 12 anti-aircraft missiles "Sea Sparrow";
• crane for the main equipment and control station;
• towed gas with a device for launching and ascenting aboard.

In addition, on the ship can be installed removable torpedo tubes for anti-submarine torpedoes, mine rails, or remotely controlled search and destruction vehicles for Double Eagle mines. For loading and unloading of modules, a mobile coastal crane is used, and the whole operation takes about 0,5 – 1 hours and some more time to connect and check all systems of the complex (48 hours are stated). Thus, depending on the installed modules, the ship can be quickly turned into a rocket, patrol, anti-submarine ship, minesweeper, mine-hunter or minelayer. Total for this project was built 14 ships from 1989 to 1996 years.


Auxiliary ship type "Absalon" Danish Navy was built with the concept of modular weapons "Standard Flex"


In the future, the Danish Navy ordered new series of ships with a larger displacement, which correspond to the Standard Flex concept: auxiliary such as Absalon with a displacement of 6600 tons and patrols of the Knud Rasmussen type with a displacement of 1720 tons, which were commissioned in the 2004 and 2008 years, respectively. Both of these ships have cells for standard interchangeable containers with different weapon systems, installed depending on the tasks performed.

In other countries, ships are also being built to guard and patrol the coastal zone, but no one is in a hurry to introduce a modular design. The fact is that despite the very rationality of the idea, its economic feasibility is rather controversial, since the costs of creating and producing high-tech modules and maintaining them are rather high. As a result, designers are trying to create the most versatile ships with acceptable characteristics, initially allowing to perform a wide range of tasks without any cardinal "reconfiguration". As a rule, their main function is to patrol and protect territorial waters and economic zones, protect the environment, search and rescue at sea. Such ships do not have powerful strike weapons, but if necessary they can be equipped with them, for which the volumes of premises are specially reserved. Another difference between such ships and American LCS is a significantly lower displacement, a moderate full speed (usually less 30 knots) while maintaining a long cruising range and a classic displacement hull. Here again, we see a different approach: the Americans need ships that quickly reach the place of the task at large distances from their own territory, and other countries need ships to be in the area of ​​patrolling their borders for a long time and no further than the 500-mile zone.


Chilean patrol ship PZM81 "Piloto Pardo"


Of the new coastal zone foreign ships, the Chilean patrol ship Piloto Pardo of the PZM project, introduced into the Chilean Navy in June 2008, is an example. Its total displacement is 1728 tons, the main dimensions are 80,6 x 13 x 3,8 meters, the full speed is more than 20 knots, the cruising range of the economic course is 6000 miles. The armament consists of a nasal 40-mm artillery mount and two 12,7-mm machine guns. In addition, the ship is carrying a Dauphin N2 helicopter and two assault boats. The tasks of the ship include the protection of the territorial waters of Chile, search and rescue, monitoring of the aquatic environment, as well as training for the Navy. In August, the second ship of this type, the Comandante Policarpo Toro, was commissioned in 2009, and a total of four units are planned to be built.


Vietnamese patrol ship HQ-381 built according to the Russian project PS-500


If you look to the other side of the ocean, you can cite as an example the PS-500 patrol ship developed in the Russian Northern PKB for the Vietnamese Navy. It has a displacement of 610 tons and main dimensions 62,2 x 11 x 2,32 meters. The hull lines are made of the “deep V” type, which in the practice of Russian shipbuilding for the ships of a similar class and displacement used for the first time, and made it possible to obtain high seaworthiness. Water jets are used as the main propulsion units, telling the speed of the 32,5 knot and giving high maneuverability (small roll on circulation, turning on the “foot”, movement in a lag), cruising range is 2500 miles. The ship was built section by section at the Severnaya Verf in St. Petersburg, and the sections were assembled in Vietnam. 24 June 1998 was the lead ship launched at the Ba-Son shipyard in Ho Chi Minh City, and in October 2001 was handed over to the Vietnamese fleet. PS-500 is intended for the protection of territorial waters and the economic zone, the protection of civilian ships and communications in coastal areas from warships, submarines and boats of the enemy.


Russian border patrol ship "Rubin" project 22460


Russia itself is also building new patrol ships, but they are traditionally designed not for the fleet, but for the sea parts of the Border Guard Service of the FSB. So, in May 2010, a solemn flag raising took place on the ship of the 22460 project, called “Ruby”, which was developed in the Northern PKB (he now serves in the Black Sea). In the same year, two more ships were laid at the Almaz shipyard: the Brilliant and the Pearl. Ships of this project have a displacement of 630 tons, a length of 62,5 meters, a full speed of up to 30 nodes, a cruising range of 3500 miles. The steel case allows you to work in the young and broken ice thickness up to 20, see. Armament consists of 30-mm six-barreled AK-630 artillery and two 12,7-mm machine guns, but if necessary (mobilized) it can quickly be supplemented with Uran anti-aircraft missile and anti-aircraft missiles rocket complexes of self-defense. In addition, the ship has a helipad and provides a temporary basing of the Ka-226 helicopter. The main purpose of the ship is to protect the state border, the natural resources of inland waters and the territorial sea, the exclusive economic zone and the continental shelf, combat piracy, conduct rescue and environmental monitoring of the sea. Before 2020, it is planned to build 25 packages.


Russian border guard patrol ship of the ice class "Purga" of the 22120 project


Another new ship that the Russian border guards received in 2010 was the multi-purpose 22120 ice-class coast guard ship, called the Purga. It is designed to perform service on Sakhalin and is able to overcome the ice more than half a meter thick. Displacement is 1023 tons, main dimensions 70,6 x 10,4 x 3,37 meters, speed over 25 nodes, cruising range 6000 miles. The armament consists of a lightweight X-NUMX-mm six-barreled AK-30 gun mounts and machine guns, but can be significantly strengthened if necessary. The ship is provided with a temporary basing of the Ka-306 helicopter, and in addition, there is a special high-speed boat on board, stored in a multifunctional hangar and launched into the water through the stern slip.


New Zealand patrol ship P148 "Otago" type "Protector"


At the other end of the world - in New Zealand - multi-purpose patrol ships with a long cruising range are also being built. In 2010, the Royal Navy of this country included two ships of the “Protector” type, called the “Otago” and “Wellington”. The displacement of these ships is 1900 tons, the main dimensions 85 x 14 x 3,6 meters, the full speed of the 22 node, the cruising range 6000 miles. The armament includes a DSNNXX 25-mm gun mount and two 25-mm machine guns. On ships, the SH-12,7G “Seasprite” helicopter is permanently deployed, and in addition they carry three assault boats of the RHIB type (two 2-meters and one 7,74-meters). The main tasks: patrolling the economic zone, protection of territorial waters, sea rescue, actions in the interests of the customs service, the department of nature conservation, the Ministry of Fisheries and the police.

Table 3


The main tactical and technical characteristics of new ships of the coastal zone

Ship type

Pzm81

«Pilot

Brown»

PS-500

HQ-381

pr.22460

"Ruby"

pr.22120

"Blizzard"

P188

«Otago»

Affiliation

Chile

Vietnam

Russia

Russia

New Zealand

Number in the series

4

2

3 (+ 22)

1 (+ 2)

2

Year of entry into service

2008

2001

2010

2010

2010

Displacement, tons

1728

610

630

1023

1900

Maximum length, m

80,6

62,2

62,5

70,6

85

Width is greatest, m

13

11

10,5

10,4

14

Draft, m

3,8

2,32

About 3

3.37

3,6

Type and composition of the GEM

Diesel electric

DSTU

19600 hp

Diesel

Diesel

7670 кВт

Diesel

10800 кВт

Full speed, knots

22

32,5

27

25

22

Range, miles / at speed, knots.

6000 / 12

2500 / 14

3500 / 10

6000 / -

6000 / 12

Autonomy, days

30

15

30

20

30

Crew.

60

28

24

30

45

Armament:

1 x 40-mm AU

2 x 12,7-mm machine gun

1 helicopter

2 sh.

1 x 76,2-mm AK-176

1 x 30-mm AK-630

2 x 7,62-mm machine gun

2 x 4 PU UCR PKR

1 x 30-mm AK-630

2 x 12,7-mm machine gun

1 helicopter

Xnumx sh. Cat

1 x 30-mm AK-306M

2 x 7,62-mm machine gun

1 helicopter

Xnumx sh. Cat

1 x 25-mm DS25

2 x 12,7 machine gun

1 helicopter

3 sh.

Construction of the first coastal warship


Construction of the first coastal combat ship LCS-1 "Freedom" at the shipyard in Marinette


Meanwhile, in February 2004, the decision of the US Navy Command on the need to build a LCS was finally approved. Fleet demand was estimated at 55 units. 27 May The Naval Ministry announced that two groups of design companies, headed by General Dynamics and Lockheed Martin, received contracts worth 78,8 million and 46,5 million dollars, respectively, to complete the design work, after which they had to start building experienced ships, the so-called zero series (Flight 0). For Lockheed Martin, these were prototype ships designated LCS-1 and LCS-3, and for General Dynamics they were LCS-2 and LCS-4. It was announced that, together with the cost of construction, the cost of contracts could increase to 536 million and 423 million dollars, respectively, and for a total of nine LCS during 2005 – 2009. It was planned to spend about 4 billion dollars.

Lockheed Martin was supposed to commission the first LCS-1 in 2007, and General Dynamics its LCS-2 in 2008. After building the first 15 ships of the zero series and testing, the US Navy command had to choose one of the prototypes for subsequent serial construction (1 series or Flight 1), after which the contract for the remaining 40 ships was supposed to be issued to the winning consortium. At the same time, it was stipulated that successful constructive solutions from the “loser” ship would also be implemented on the “winning” serial LCS.

So, 2 June 2005, at the shipyard “Marinette Marine” in Marinette, Wisconsin, was solemnly laid the lead warship of the coastal zone LCS-1, known as “Freedom”. 23 September 2006 was launched with even more celebrations, and 8 November 2008, after extensive testing at Lake Michigan, was handed over to the fleet and was based in San Diego, California.

The LCS-1 “Freedom” has a displacement of 2839 tons and is a single-body ship of displacement type with a length of 115,3 m, a width of 17,5 m and a draft of 3,7 m with outlines of a “deep V” hull. A large superstructure is located in the middle part and occupies almost half the length of the hull, and in width - from side to side. Most of it is occupied by a vast hangar, as well as two cells for interchangeable combat modules. The body has a steel structure, and the superstructure is made of aluminum alloy. According to the “Stealth” technology, all external walls of the superstructure are made of flat panels having large angles of inclination.


Launching the LCS-1 Freedom 23 September 2006


The aft landing site (actually, the flight deck with an 1,5 area larger than that of modern destroyers and cruisers) is located at the stern, allowing you to operate not only SH-60 / MH-60 "Sea Hawk" helicopters and MQ-8 UAVs " Fire Scout ”, but also the largest US Navy helicopter CH-53 / MH-53“ Sea Stallion ”. Virtually the entire aft part of the hull is a large cargo compartment with a system of guides and electric motors, which are designed to move target modules and various guided and habitable vehicles inside the premises and to install them in the working cells inside the superstructure when transforming the ship for a specific task. For loading and unloading of modules there are large hatches in the deck, side and transom lazporty with the launch ramp and the device loading and launching of surface and underwater vehicles.

Four Rolls-Royce water cannons are used for movement - two internal fixed and two external rotary, with which the ship can develop full speed to 45 nodes and has high maneuverability (at full speed the ship describes full circulation with a diameter of 530 m). The power plant consists of two Rolls-Royce MT30 gas turbines with a capacity of 36 MW, two diesel engines from the Colt-Pielstick 16PA6B STC economy engine and four Isotta Fraschini V1708 diesel generators for 800 KW. The navigation range of the 18 hub economic swing is 3550 miles.

Since the main feature of the ship is a quick change of configuration due to target modules with combat systems, the built-in armament is represented only by the nasal 57-mm Mk110 gun mount (880 rounds) and the Mk31 self-defense SAM system (21-charger on the hangar roof) and four 12,7-mm machine guns on the add-in.

The ship is equipped with a COMBATSS-21 combat information and control system that integrates detection and weapon systems (including target modules). According to the TTZ, the system fully meets the standards of the open architecture C2, which allows automated data exchange with any type of US Navy and Coast Guard ships, as well as with special operations forces. Most of the COMBATSS-21 software is based on the well-developed software codes of Aegis, SSDS and SQQ-89 systems. Air and surface targets are detected using the TRS-3D three-coordinate radar station (the German company EADS) and an optical-electronic station with an IR channel, and underwater conditions are detected using a multifunctional hydroacoustic station with a towed antenna and a GAS mine detection system. For jamming in the IR and RL ranges, there is a SKWS installation manufactured by Terma A / S (Denmark), as well as an EW station for radio and radio intelligence.


LCS-1 Freedom at full speed. The launchers for launching false targets are installed in the cells for the combat modules. Nulka


And now about what the coastal zone warship was actually created for - interchangeable target modules. Total ship can take up 20 so-called "modular combat platforms." By itself, the “automatic configuration” of replacing the modules has already been worked out on the experience ship “Sea Fighter” and, by analogy with the computer term plug-and-play, has got the sound - plug-and-fight (literally - “connect and fight”).

Today, the modules are presented in three types:

• MIW - to combat mines,
• ASW - anti-submarine,
• SUW - to combat surface targets.

Each module is planned to be developed in several versions with a different composition of weapons. Target modules can be combined into standard-sized containers loaded onto the ship on special pallets. The weapons system devices in the modules are connected to the CICS, thus entering the general information network, as a result of which the ship turns into a minesweeper, a miner, anti-submarine or strike ship. Most of the modules are helicopter complexes. It is assumed that the change in the configuration of the ship for each new type of combat mission will take a matter of days (ideally 24 hours).

The MIW module includes: AN / WLD-1 remotely controlled anti-mine devices, AN / AQS-20A mine detection aircraft, AIMDS aviation laser mine detection system, and various types of mine trawls towed by Sea Dragon MN-53E. In addition, it is proposed to use the RAMICS (Rapid Airborne Mine Clearance System) aircraft system, which has been under development since 1995, to search for and destroy mines in shallow water areas. It includes a laser detection system and an 20-mm gun, firing ultra-cavitating shells, equipped with active materials, which, penetrating into the charge of the mine, cause the detonation of the explosive. Shooting from a cannon can be done from a height of up to 300 m, while the shells penetrate the water to a depth of 20 – 30 m.


Water jet propulsion of the ship LCS-1 "Freedom". In the center are fixed and on the sides guided water jets.


The ASW module includes a rapidly deployable ADS (Advanced Deployable System) speaker system consisting of a network of passive hydrophones, a towed multifunctional hydroacoustic station RTAS (Remote Towed Active Source), as well as remotely operated semi-immersed devices and ASW USV unmanned antisubmarine boats developed by GD Robotics. The latter can operate autonomously for 24 hours and receive a payload of 2250 kg, including the navigation system, sonar, lowered GUS, towed ultra-light ULITE GUS, and small anti-submarine torpedoes. The module also includes an aviation system based on the MH-60R helicopter, equipped with Mk54 torpedoes, and the low-frequency AN / AQS-22 low-level GUS.

The SUW module is not yet operational, but it is known that it will include combat compartments with 30-mm Mk46 automatic cannons (200 shot rate / min) with stabilization and fire adjustment systems, as well as NLOS-LS rocket launchers (Non Line-of-Sight Launch System), developed jointly by Lockheed Martin and Raytheon under the program Battle Systems of the Future. The NNOS-LS 15 Charge Container Launcher has a mass of 1428 kg. It is designed for vertical launch of precision-developed PAM (Precision Attack Missile) missiles currently weighing approximately 45 kg. Each rocket is equipped with a combined homing system, which includes a GPS receiver, passive infrared and active laser seeker. The range of destruction of single targets reaches 40 km (in the future it is planned to reach 60 km). There is also a development of a LAM (Loitering Attack Munition) missile targeting a missile with a launch range of up to 200 km, which is designed to hit coastal and surface targets. Stated that the ship in the shock version can be placed over 100 missiles. In the meantime, the fight against surface and ground targets is assigned to an aviation complex with MH-60R helicopters armed with automatic cannons, a NAR and Hellfire guided missiles.

In addition to all this, the ship can be used as a high-speed military transport. In this case, he is able to transport (by TTZ): up to 750 tons of various military cargoes; up to 970, an amphibious assault man in full gear (in temporarily equipped residential compartments); or up to 150 units of combat and auxiliary equipment (including 12 airborne landing armored personnel carriers and up to 20 BMP). Loading and unloading is carried out directly to the pier through a ramp with a ramp.

Second coastal warship


Construction of the second coastal zone warship LCS-2 Independence at shipyards in Mobil


The second ship, LCS-2, dubbed the “Independence”, was laid on 19 in January 2006 at the Austal USA Shipyards in Mobile, Alabama. The launch of 30 took place on April 2008 of the year, and on October 18 of 2009, the ship completed the sea trials and tests in the Gulf of Mexico. The solemn entry into the fleet took place on January 16 2010 of the year ..

The LCS-2 “Independence” is a trimaran with outrigger tonnings 2784 completely made of aluminum alloys. It has a length of 127,4 m, a width of 31,6 m and a draft of 3,96 m. The main body with “wave cutting” type contours represents a single structure with a superstructure, which, unlike LCS-1, has a smaller length, but an increased width. Most of the add-ons are occupied by a spacious hangar for helicopters and UAVs and cells for interchangeable target modules. Two SH-60 / MH-60 helicopters or one CH-53 / MH-53 helicopters are deployed as well as MQ-8 "Fire Scout" unmanned vehicles. Just like the LCS-1, the LCS-2 has an extensive takeoff deck, and under it is a compartment for accommodating replaceable target modules, but due to the design features (the trimaran is much wider) they also have a large usable area. The ship’s superstructure according to the stealth technology is made of flat panels with large tilt angles. The outer sides of the outriggers and the main body also have a reverse slope.

By itself, the scheme of the ship with outriggers has been known for a long time, but previously such warships were not built - only prototype prototypes were created. The fact is that multi-hull ships always cost more than traditional single-hull ships of approximately equal displacement. And this applies both to the cost of construction, and for further operation. In addition, the advantages obtained with a multi-unit scheme (large usable volume, high power-to-hand ratio and speed) are combined with serious disadvantages: for example, the ship’s vulnerability is much higher, since if one outrigger is damaged, it will not be able to perform the combat mission at all, and for docking and repair of such ships requires special conditions. Why did the designers of General Dynamics decide to go this way? The reason is that the Australian company Austal, a member of the consortium, has long and very successfully been producing light aluminum catamarans and trimarans for civilian needs, primarily private yachts and cruise ships with high seaworthiness, equipped with powerful jet engines capable of speeds up to 50 nodes and having a small draft. These characteristics just fit the tactical and technical requirements for a new warship of the coastal zone.


Ceremony of accepting LCS-2 "Independence" in the US Navy 16 January 2010.


During the construction of the LCS-2, the 127-meter high-speed civilian trimaran “Benchijigua Express”, developed by Austal, was chosen as a prototype, which during operation showed its high seaworthiness, combining the advantages of single-hull and multihull vessels. In this case, the company conducted a thorough computer simulation and a large number of field tests to create optimal hull lines of such a hydrodynamic scheme. In addition, jet propulsion, their control systems, as well as a power plant, and many other general ship systems and mechanisms have already been developed for a civilian prototype ship. All this significantly reduced the time and financial costs in the development and construction of the ship.

The LCS-2 is equipped with four Wartsila water cannons, two of which are external controlled and two internal are fixed. The main power plant consists of two gas turbine units LM2500, two diesel engines MTU 20V8000 and four diesel generators. The total speed is 47 knots, but on the tests the ship reached even fifty. At an economic 20 hub speed, the ship is able to go 4300 miles.

The composition of the built-in armament "Independence" is almost identical to the LCS-1: the nasal 57-mm artillery Mk110, self-defense SAM system SeaRAM and four 12,7-mm machine-gun. Similarly, the design of the cargo compartment for the target modules, located under the flight deck, is identical. It is also equipped with a system for moving containers inside and two ramps (side and transom) for launching surface and underwater vehicles. Unlike the LCS-1, on the LCS-2 there are not two, but three cells for installing plug-in combat modules: one in the bow between the gun mount and the bridge and two in the superstructure next to the chimney.


LCS-2 "Independence"


The ship is equipped with ICMS combat information management system with an open architecture developed by Northrop Grumman. The radar station Sea Giraffe, the AN / KAX-2 optoelectronic station with day and infrared channels, and the Bridgemaster-E navigation radar were installed to illuminate the surface situation and target designation. Means of jamming and triggering false targets are represented by the ES-3601 EW station, three Super RBOC installations and two Nulka. To illuminate the underwater situation, the undermaking GAS of mine detection and the GAS of torpedo detection SSTD are intended.

Depending on the target modules to be installed (type MIW, ASW or SUW), the LCS-2 can perform the functions of a minesweeper-minesweeper, anti-submarine, strike or patrol ship. In addition, it can also serve for the operational transfer of military cargo, military equipment and personnel of amphibious units with full ammunition.

As we see, both ships - LCS-1 and LCS-2, despite completely different design, according to the TTZ have very similar characteristics and combat capabilities. Due to the fact that most of the target modules are designed for installation on helicopters and helicopter-type UAVs, American warships of the coastal zone have actually turned into promising ship-air complexes.

Table 4


Main tactical and technical characteristics of warships of the coastal zone (LCS) US Navy

Ship type

LCS-1

«Freedom»

LCS-2

«Independence»

Main contractor

"Lockheed

Martin "

“General

Dynamics

Date of entry into operation

November 8.11.2008, XNUMX

November 16.01.2010, XNUMX

Housing design

single body

trimaran

with outriggers

Displacement, tons

2839

2784

Maximum length, m

115,3

127,4

Width is greatest, m

17,5

31,6

Draft, m

3,7

3,96

Type and composition of the GEM

2 x GTU "Rolls-Royce MT30"

2 x DD "Colt-Pielstick 16PA6B STC"

4 x DG Isotta Fraschini V1708

2 x GTU LM2500

2 x DD MTU 20V8000

4 x DG

Propellers

4 x Water Jet Rolls-Royce

4 x Waterjet Wartsila

1 thruster

Full speed, knots

45 ... 47

47 ... 48

Range, miles / at speed, knots.

3550 / 18

4300 / 20

Autonomy, days

14 ... 21

20

Crew (crew), people

40

40 ... 50

Combat crew (with the air group and operators of target modules), pers.

75

61 ... 75

Built-in weapons:

1 x 1 57-mm AU Mk110

1 x 21 PU ZRK RAM Mk31

4 x 1 12,7-mm machine guns

1 x 1 57-mm AU Mk110

1 x 21 PU ZRK SeaRAM

4 x 1 12,7-mm machine guns

Aircraft weapons:

up to two MH-60R / S "Sea Hawk" helicopters or one MH-53 "Sea Dragon" or up to six MQ-8 "Fire Scout" UAVs

up to two MH-60R / S "Sea Hawk" helicopters or one MH-53 "Sea Dragon" or up to six MQ-8 "Fire Scout" UAVs

Target modules:

Up to 20 modules of type MIW, ASW or SUW;

underwater and surface uninhabited vehicles;

up to 120 UR LAM and PAM

Up to 25 modules of type MIW, ASW or SUW;

underwater and surface uninhabited vehicles; up to 180 UR LAM and PAM

Electronic weapons:

• BIUS COMBATSS-21

• radar TRS-3D

• ECO with IR channel

• Navigation radar

• BUGAS and GASM

• EW WBR-2000 Station

• PU software SKWS

• Navigation complex

• Radio communication complex

• Link-16, Link-11 communication system

• BIUS ICMS

• Sea Giraffe radar

• ECO AN / KAX-2

• NDSL “Bridgemaster-E”

• GAS SSTD and GASM

• EW ES-3601 Station

• 4 x Super RBOC and 2 x "Nulka" PU PP

• Navigation complex

• Radio communication complex

• Link-16, Link-11 communication system

Load capacity, tons

180

210

Calculations and miscalculations


57-mm gun mount Mk110 on the bow of the ship LCS-1 "Freedom"


While the LCS-1 and LCS-2 ships were being completed - one was afloat and the other was on the slipway, it became clear that the “relatively inexpensive” ships were not at all. Again, as was the case with many other Pentagon military programs, the cost of selling warships in the coastal zone began to grow uncontrollably. As a result of January 12 2007, the US Navy Minister Donald Winter ordered to suspend for 90 days all work on the construction of the second ship of the type “Freedom” - LCS-3, as its value increased from the estimated 220 million dollars to 331 – 410 million ( almost 86%!), although initially the program cost per unit was estimated at 90 million dollars. As a result, 12 on April 2007 of the year the contracts for the construction of LCS-3, and on November 1 - and for LCS-4 were canceled.

In the process of building the first ship of the coastal zone, another circumstance emerged: in spite of its wide possibilities, initially the project did not fully consider the option of using it directly in the interests of special operations forces. Back at the beginning of 2006, the country's Deputy Minister of Defense, Gordon England, set the task for the Chiefs of Staff Committee to conduct research and justify options for integrating the Special Operations Forces with ships of this class. The idea of ​​delivering reconnaissance and sabotage groups of the Navy CSR to the designated area by the ship seemed quite rational to fleet specialists. After all, attracting large surface ships for these purposes is not always advisable, and the use of submarines, although it provides stealth, is often limited by the depths of the coastal waters, and transport aircraft - by the presence of accessible airfields. At the same time, in order to take into account the requirements of experts of the Navy CSR, it will be necessary to make adjustments in the design of the ships, due to the specifics of the tasks performed by the SSR. This is a decompression chamber for providing diving operations, and possibly also a lock chamber - for launching swimmers under water, including with submarine delivery systems of the type SDV (SEAL Delivery Vehicle). Also, not all combat patrol boats from the special purpose boat divisions that provide direct delivery to the task location can be transported by LCS ships due to their large size (over 11 m). In addition, US Navy special operations forces use their own specific command and control channels. And although the possibility of connecting the special equipment to the ship network and switching with the ship systems is provided, the ship needs to have previously provided places for installing special antenna devices.


Coastal battle ship LCS-1 "Freedom" in the sea. Turrets with 30-mm automatic guns Mk46 are installed in the cells for the combat modules


In addition to intelligence support in the interests of the SSO, the US Navy Special Operations Command also considers LCS ships in terms of medical care: receiving wounded people evacuated from the battlefield, arranging mobile operating rooms possessed by special forces units, supplying them with medicines and all the necessary equipment. All of the above claims were accepted by development companies, who pledged to take them into account when building the following enclosures.

However, the matter did not end there - during the tests of both LCS ships, a lot of flaws and various omissions were revealed. Thus, in the course of acceptance tests of LCS-1 “Freedom”, the commission fixed 2600 technical deficiencies, of which 21 was recognized as serious and subject to immediate elimination, but until the transfer of the ship to the fleet only nine of them were eliminated. However, all this was found to be acceptable, since the ships' heads and their shortcomings should be eliminated by the results of operation. Therefore, February 15 2010 Freedom (two years ahead of schedule) reached its first independent long-distance voyage to the Caribbean Sea and even took part in the first combat operation, preventing an attempt to transport large quantities of drugs in the Colombian coast. With the second ship, LCS-2 "Independence", a similar situation occurred, but, as in the first case, it was decided to eliminate all the shortcomings later, and he himself was accepted by the commission.

In March and May 2009, contracts for the construction of LCS-3 and for LCS-4 were renewed. The first was named “Fort Worth”, and the second was “Coronado” in honor of the cities of the same name in the states of Texas and California. At the same time, 4 March, 2010, Austal USA and General Dynamics Bath Iron Works canceled their LCS partnership agreement, which allowed Austal USA to act as the main contractor, while General Dynamics continued its participation in subcontractor. 6 April 2009, US Secretary of Defense Robert Gates announced the financing of three coastal zone warships in 2010, and confirmed his intention to acquire a total of 55 ships of this class. And then after the promulgation of the military budget for the 2010 fiscal year, it turned out that the total purchase price of the Freedom and Independence head ships was equal to 637 million and 704 million dollars, respectively! Truly conceived initially as low-cost ships, the LCC achieved the value of Spruance destroyers built at the end of the last century.


SeaRAM self-defense SAM mounted on LCS-2 "Independence"


However, 28 December 2010, the US Congress approved the proposal of the Navy to conclude contracts for the purchase of 20 warships of the coastal zone LCS with two contracting companies at once - the previously planned selection of only one project to launch into the series did not take place. According to the plan of the US Navy command, this will allow maintaining competition and ensuring promptly the delivery of the required number of modern warships to the fleet. The ship purchase program from both contractors for a total of about 5 billion dollars provides for the financing of the construction of one ship each year in 2010 and 2011 annually, which will be increased to two ships per year from 2012 to 2015.

11 July 2009, the second ship of the type "Freedom" - "Fort Worth" - was laid at the shipyard "Marinette Marine", and 4 December 2010, it was launched at 80-percent technical readiness. It is planned to transfer it to the customer in 2012 year. Approximately by the same date, the Coronado, the second ship of the Independence type, is also planned to be commissioned.

In addition to the ships intended for the US Navy, Lockheed Martin and General Dynamics are actively promoting for export the revised designs of their coastal action warships under the designation LCSI (Littoral Combat Ship International) and MMC (Multi-Mission Combatant). Their principal difference is the full-fledged built-in armament as part of 76 or 57-mm artillery systems, short-range anti-aircraft artillery complexes Vulcan / Phalanx, self-defense SAM systems, as well as standardized Mk41 anti-ship launch systems, the Harpoon anti-ship missiles and anti-submarines. There is a radar SPY-1F and a multifunctional combat control system of the type "Aegis". And although, as in the basic version, in the aft section of the LCSI and MMC there is a compartment for supposedly replaceable target modules, in fact these projects are classic modern multi-purpose frigates with “non-configurable” weapons.


Draft MRC multipurpose corvette trimaran proposed by Austal


It is known that Lockheed Martin offered its ship LCSI to Israel and even in December 2005 entered into an agreement with this country on a two-year research program. A project has been developed that is adapted to Israeli weapons and electronics systems. However, ultimately, the Israelis abandoned the ship because of its high cost.
In addition, Austal, using its LCS-2 practice, also offers for export an 78,5-meter MRC (Multi-role Corvette) multi-purpose corvette, made in the same way - a trimaran with outriggers.

Some conclusions

Analyzing the program to create American LCS ships, we can draw certain conclusions.

The US Navy continues to systematically update its fleet in the framework of the adopted strategy “Sea Power of the 21 Century”, carrying out the construction of promising ships, including a completely new class - coastal warships. This will make it possible to use more efficiently the formations of the ships of the ocean zone and not to involve them in carrying out unusual tasks, as well as to achieve superiority in forces and assets off the coast of the enemy (including in shallow water areas), neutralizing the most likely threats from its combat boats, underwater boats, mines, sabotage groups and coastal defenses.


Coastal Battle Ship LCS-1 Freedom. Nearby on the quay a uninhabited anti-mine underwater vehicle and a remote-controlled rigid inflatable boat are demonstrated.


The modular design principle will allow LCS ships to carry out a wide variety of operations in the coastal zone, replacing the minesweepers, frigates, support ships. At the same time, their high speed and long cruising range, as well as the presence of combat helicopter complexes, is an order of magnitude higher than the speed of use, which is planned as part of homogeneous ship groups (two or three) with a focus on solving a complex of various tasks. Also, LCS ships will be used in the interests of the SSO and as transports for the rapid transfer of military cargo or combat units.

In addition, while building LCS warships and destroyers of the new generation DDG-1000, the United States continues to implement the concept of the global network-centric armed forces (Total Force Battle Network), which provides for the integration of all combat units in a theater of operations (global, regional or local scale) single intelligence information field. The control of such forces distributed in space should be carried out from local centers, which will simultaneously receive from them all information about the enemy in real time. In this case, all data and related necessary information will be available for each combat unit integrated into the network. The new principle of building the armed forces will make it possible in the shortest possible time to centrally concentrate combat efforts at any point in the theater of operations in accordance with current tasks.


Stern of the ship LCS-2 Independence. The flight deck is impressively visible.


In addition to the United States, ships like LCS are not built or developed in any other country, apart from the creation of common draft designs. The German shipbuilding concern Thyssen Krupp Marine Systems, which offered its coastal zone combat project CSL (Combat Ship for the Littorals) similar to that of the US, was an exception. It used the already proven technologies of modular construction of MEKO frigates and some technical solutions of Swedish “stealth” type of corvettes “Visby”. However, so far this ship remains only an export project for potential customers.

In other states, building modern ships of coastal action, they focus primarily on universal patrol ships of the classic single-hull scheme with a long cruising range and a displacement from 600 to 1800 tons, intended for operations in their economic zones. They are usually designed for long-term patrols in the performance of the protection of their maritime borders, the fight against piracy and terrorism, rescue operations and other related tasks. The modular principle of building weapons systems, as well as a fundamental change in the architecture in favor of the Stealth technology, are also not widely used with rare exceptions. Light artillery and machine-gun armament, ship-based helicopters and assault boats are preferred, since full-fledged combat operations are assigned to specialized coastal ships — corvettes with anti-ship and anti-submarine weapons, attack and artillery boats, mine-sweeping ships, and coast-based aircraft.
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