Navy eyes expanded role for littoral combat ship with new weapons and electronics for open-ocean warfare

Referred to as the surface-to-surface missile module, the weapon is being prepared as part of an integrated suite of combat technologies for the LCS.

Littoral Combat Ship 30 July 2019

WASHINGTON – Destroying enemy helicopters on the open ocean, hitting attacking enemy drones, and countering opposing surface ships from safe distances are all combat missions now being emphasized by the Navy as it prepares its littoral combat ship (LCS) for blue-water warfare - an effort designed to widen the ship’s attack potential and build upon its expansive scope of shallow water missions. Fox News reports. Continue reading original article

The Military & Aerospace Electronics take:

30 July 2019 -- As part of this, the Navy has fired a Hellfire missile from an Independence-class LCS to arm the ship for open-ocean offensive attack. The test-firing involved the shooting of a Longbow Hellfire on the Point Mugu Sea Range on June 11.

Referred to as the surface-to-surface missile module, the weapon is being prepared as part of an integrated suite of combat technologies for the LCS. For many years now, the Navy has been working to evolve the LCS mission scope from an initial focus upon littoral operations including land attack, countermine operations and closer in combat operations -- to include preparation for dispersed, long-range, major deep water warfare against a heavily armed near-peer adversary.

While using speed and shallow draft to access areas less available to larger, deeper draft ships, the LCS still is for close-in missions. However, given the ever-evolving “great-power” competition and focus upon near-peer threats, the service has been immersed in a large-scale effort for several years to arm its surface fleet better -- especially the LCS -- with combat equipment necessary for large-scale war.

Related: Lockheed Martin continues with design of new command and control combat system for future Navy frigate

Related: Navy orders additional unmanned boats from Textron to provide LCS minesweeping capability

Related: Navy picks L-3 to provide data link to control UAVs on Littoral Combat Ship

John Keller, chief editor
Military & Aerospace Electronics

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