The first ship in the Navy’s new Littoral Combat Ship class, the future USS Freedom (LCS 1), began Builder’s Trials on Lake Michigan July 28.
LCS is a fast, agile, focused-mission ship designed to defeat asymmetric “anti-access” threats such as mines, quiet diesel submarines and fast surface craft. The 378-foot Freedom is being designed and built by a Lockheed Martin-led industry team.
“Getting Freedom underway is a significant step in the ship’s steady progress toward entering the fleet,” said LCS Program Manager Capt. James Murdoch. “Freedom has overcome many challenges to reach this important milestone. LCS 1 will add tremendous capabilities to the fleet for our Sailors.”
Builder’s trials test the vessel’s propulsion, communications, navigation and mission systems, as well as all related support systems. Following the completion of builder’s trials, Freedom will return to Marinette Marine to prepare for acceptance trials that will be conducted by the U.S. Navy’s Board of Inspection and Survey.
The LCS 1 Freedom class consists of two different hullforms – a semiplaning monohull and an aluminum trimaran – designed and built by two industry teams, respectively led by Lockheed Martin and General Dynamics. The seaframes will be outfitted with reconfigurable payloads, called mission packages, which can be changed out quickly. These mission packages focus on three mission areas: mine counter measures, surface warfare and anti-submarine warfare.
LCS 1 is scheduled to be delivered to the Navy later this year and will be homeported in San Diego.