Evaluation and comparison of Freedom Class LCS and other frigates/corvettes against small boat, FPB and submarine threats in confined waters
Hughes, Wayne P. Jr.
Kline, Jeffrey F.
Lucas, Thomas W.
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This thesis compares the performance of the Freedom Class Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) with five similar international frigates and corvettes in a littoral combat environment. The alternative ships are: Formidable class frigate, Singapore Navy; MILGEM (Milli Gemi) class corvette, Turkish Navy; Steregushchiy class frigate, Russian Navy; Sigma class corvette, Indonesian Navy; and Visby class corvette, Swedish Navy. The study is conducted within a fictitious scenario in the Strait of Hormuz, countering Iran's naval capabilities. Hughes's Salvo Equations Model is used to evaluate a variable number of friendly combatants versus a fixed opposing force. The results identify the number of ships required to dominate the threat in the scenario. Based on the comprehensive results, including changes by adding hardkill and introducing countermeasure effectiveness, an optimum design suggestion is made. In the end, optimum design is a relative subject because the issues of sustainment and cost play a significant role in the decision. LCS is shown to be the most combat-effective performer, but its cost detracts from its operational advantages. MILGEM is a medium size ship with high performance and lower cost, making her the most cost-effective candidate. Visby has the lowest cost and because of its stealth can be combat-effective as others, but it is not nearly as sustainable. Thus, the decision depends on the weight placed on these several factors.
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