Navy installs Mission Package Computing Environment on littoral combat ship USS Freedom

WASHINGTON, 29 June 2008. Engineers have finished installing shipboard computers, military software, and data networking capability aboard the first Navy warship designed specifically for shallow-water coastal operations -- the littoral combat ship.

Engineers have performed the first installation of the U.S. Navy's Mission Package Computing Environment (MPCE) aboard the littoral combat ship USS Freedom in Marinette, Wis., say officials of Naval Sea Systems Command in Washington.

The MPCE provides computing power and networking for three mission packages aboard the littoral combat ship (LCS) -- systems for mine, surface, and anti-submarine warfare.

LCS mission packages are composed of separate mission modules that use manned and unmanned vehicles, sensors, and weapons that require much computer software. The LCS MPCE is using open-architecture software.

The LCS is designed for near-shore operations along coastlines and around harbors where shallow water, heavy vessel traffic, and sea life make sonar operations difficult and complex. The LCS is designed to fight against mines, quiet diesel submarines and fast surface craft.

The MPCE hardware is permanently installed on the LCS vessel. The MPCE is networked with the Combat Management System to support mission planning, execution, post mission analysis, and tactical picture data exchange with the ship.

"This installation brings us one step closer to Freedom's commissioning later this year," says Capt. Mike Good, program manager of littoral combat ship (LCS) mission modules.

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