THE MARINE LOG FEATURES CALENDAR FOR 2003
April 15 2003
Battle for LCS program heats up
The battle to build the Navy's LCS is heating up. The Navy plans to spend nearly $4 billion through fiscal year 2009 to purchase 9 ships that will support a variety of missions, including anti- submarine and anti-surface warfare and mine warfare. LCS will also have inherent capabilities to address other operational requirements such as force defense, reconnaissance and surveillance, special operations, and homeland defense.Raytheon Company is leading an international consortium in a bid for the preliminary design of the U.S. Navy's next-generation surface combatant - Littoral Combat Ship (LCS).
Last week the Textron EDO team, which includes VT Halter Marine, announced its line up. Today, the Raytheon-led "Team LCS" unveiled its concept for a fast, agile, focused mission ship "seaframe" enabled by an assortment of advanced unmanned vehicles and aviation assets to counter littoral asymmetric threats. Today, too, the Lockheed Martin LCS Team unveiled Sea Blade, an Advanced Semi-Planing Seaframe, which is its contender for the program.
LCS is a key element of the Navy's Sea Power 21 strategic vision. The ship will operate close to shore equipped with interchangeable modules to perform focused missions against enemy patrol craft and small boats, shallow water mines and diesel submarines. The Navy considers LCS its most transformational program and number one budget priority.
The Sea Blade concept proposed by the Lockheed Martin LCS Team is said to "build on the hydrodynamic lineage of a U.S.-designed hullform that holds the trans-Atlantic speed record and has been successfully adapted to much larger high-speed European commercial transports. The Sea Blade concept is larger than the original hullform, but smaller than the transports, which reduces design and construction risks in the new seaframe."
"Our effort throughout this program has focused on the Navy's mission requirements," said Fred Moosally, president of Lockheed Martin Naval Electronics & Surveillance Systems. "The Sea Blade concept comfortably meets all of the Navy's needs, and provides the Navy with significant flexibility to reduce costs or enhance capabilities."
The Lockheed-led team selected the Sea Blade concept over more than a dozen others based on extensive analysis, which included participation on three of the Navy's six Focused Mission Ship Studies and a variety of modeling and simulation studies. Key attributes that placed the Sea Blade well above the other designs include its low cost, low risk, high speed, shallow draft, maneuverability, and its ability to accommodate the full range of mission modules.
"The Sea Blade concept offers the best mix of capabilities at the lowest cost and lowest risk," said Moosally. "Beyond the design, our team - Lockheed Martin, Gibbs & Cox, Bollinger Shipyards and Marinette Marine - has the talent, infrastructure and capacity to deliver this lethal warship on time and on budget."
The Lockheed Martin LCS Team combines leaders in systems engineering, mid-market shipbuilding and naval architecture. Lockheed Martin will be the prime contractor, with Gibbs & Cox, Bollinger Shipyards and Marinette Marine sharing significant roles as principal team members.
In addition to the principal team members, core team support includes high-speed ship expertise from Donald L. Blount and Associates, FastShip, Fincantieri and NAVATEK; modularity expertise from Blohm + Voss; functional expertise from Angle, Inc., ABS, BBN Technologies, Charters Technical Services, DRS Technologies, IZAR and MA&D.
Using an open business model, the Lockheed Martin LCS Team says it will continue to recruit "best of breed" technical specialists from the U.S. and abroad.
Meantime, "Raytheon and its partners are fully committed to providing the critical open architecture and transformational approach required to support the design and development of this revolutionary surface combatant," said Mary Petryszyn, Raytheon Integrated Defense Systems' vice president of Warfare and Ship Systems Integration.
"Our proven successes in collaborative ship system design and integration on programs like LPD 17 will be key to enabling our LCS solution to achieve its demanding role in the U.S. Navy's Sea Power 21 strategy."
A partnership of Raytheon Integrated Defense Systems and John J. Mullen Associates Inc. (JJMA) together with other contributing companies, including Norway's Umoe Mandal shipyard and Atlantic Marine, participated as the Sea Specter team in the Focused Mission Ship (FMS) Concept Study with JJMA as lead.
The preplanned transition to Raytheon as lead is now complete. The team's performance on the FMS analysis and concept design presents valuable intelligence, which will be leveraged as Team LCS performs the preliminary design phase.
"We are privileged to offer our expertise within this impressive consortium that incorporates critical talents from a diversity of companies," said Tom Diamant, president of JJMA. "Through our innovative technologies and successfully deployed processes, our LCS will forge the necessary seaframe and modular mission open system architecture design to meet the Navy's demanding requirements."
"Serving as the innovator of a fully integrated LCS solution," says a statement from Raytheon released today, "Raytheon Integrated Defense Systems will lead mission analysis, systems architecture, ship systems integration as well as leverage proven processes into the consortium. Raytheon's proven skill in collaborative ship systems integration with a shipyard, as demonstrated by the triumph of LPD 17, the application of proven open architecture and technological approaches, as seen in DD(X) infusion, will be critical contributions to a LCS success."
Team LCS, says the statement, "forges a union of Raytheon's total ship system engineering, naval engineering and ship design competencies with Umoe Mandal's innovative advantages of advanced SES hull design and manufacturing processes, Goodrich's composite design and fabrication as well as the streamlined and agile benefits of a mid tier shipyard that teammate Atlantic Marine provides."