|The US Navy is now finalizing the weapons, sensors and technologies it plans to engineer into a new, more survivable and lethal Littoral Combat Ship variant designed to perform anti-submarine and surface warfare functions at the same time.|
The new ship, called a Frigate, will be integrated with anti-submarine surface warfare technologies including sonar, an over-the-horizon missile and surface-to-surface weapons such as a 30mm gun and closer-in missiles such as the Hellfire. The littoral zone is the part of a sea, lake or river that is close to the shore. In coastal environments the littoral zone extends from the high water mark to shoreline areas that are permanently submerged. It always includes this intertidal zone.
|USS Independence in 2009||The new Frigate is slated for delivery to the Navy by 2023; the platform is an outgrowth of the Navy’s Littoral Combat Ship effort which originally planned to build 52 shallow-water multi-mission ships.|
The Independence class is a class of littoral combat ships built for the United States Navy. The hull design evolved from a project at Austal to design a 40 knot cruise ship. That hull design evolved into the high-speed trimaran and the Independence class was then proposed by General Dynamics and Austal as a contender for Navy plans to build a fleet of small, multipurpose warships to operate in the littoral zone. Two ships were approved, to compete with Lockheed Martin's Freedom-class design.
|The emerging Frigate ship will also be equipped with next-generation and stronger electronic warfare technologies far greater than the existing LCS and comparable to current Navy Cruisers and Destroyers. In addition the ship will be configured to accept and integrate new technologies and weapons as they emerge such as lasers and rail guns.|
The Navy's focus on anti-piracy, counterterrorism, ensuring freedom of navigation and a technique they call Visit, Board, Search and Seizure means the new ship will have seven 11-meter rigid inflatable boats for combat or expeditionary missions.