The U.S. Navy last week announced an overhaul of its troubled Littoral Combat Ship program that will include turning the first four ships into test vessels.
Thursday’s announcement came days after the sea service announced an engineering stand-down for LCS crews following an Aug. 29 engineering casualty on the USS Coronado.
That followed a main propulsion diesel engine casualty on the first LCS, Freedom, on July 11.
Under the plan, the sea service will also abandon its three-crew LCS construct and move toward the so-called “Blue/Gold” two-crew model used in crewing ballistic missile boats, patrol craft and minesweepers.
Twenty-four of the 28 vessels’ crews will also merge, train and rotate with mission module detachment crews, organizing as four-ship divisions of a single warfare area, either surface, mine or anti-submarine.
Those 24 ships will form into six divisions, three on each coast, and each having a single warfare focus.
To facilitate these changes, the Navy will eventually homeport Independence-variant ships in San Diego and Freedom-class ships in Florida.
Plagued by cost overruns, design and survivability issues, the planned LCS fleet has been winnowed from an original projected force of 52 ships.
Full article: U.S. Navy announces Littoral Combat Ship program overhaul (Spacewar)