Evaluation of Littoral Combat Ships for open-ocean anti-submarine warfare
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This report evaluates the Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) and its potential to fulfill the open-ocean anti-submarine warfare (ASW) mission. It is unknown whether the LCS platform can support open-ocean ASW. This report examines which LCS variant, Freedom or Independence, is more suitable for open-ocean ASW. Initial analysis defines the open-ocean ASW problem space in terms of a threat analysis, mission analysis, current Concept of Operations (CONOPS), and current LCS capabilities. An Analysis of Alternatives (AoA) uses derived functional and operational requirements within a Pugh matrix to decide which variant best performs ASW, and what modifications can improve future designs of the LCS. The analysis shows the Freedom class has marginal advantages in performing open-ocean ASW mission tasks, and establishes three areas for improvement: self-noise emissions, weight, and communication. Potential solutions are explored to address these shortfalls and to analyze their impact on LCS’s ability to meet core requirements of the open-ocean ASW mission. This paper concludes that the LCS is capable of fulfilling the open-ocean ASW mission if improvements are made to the design and CONOPS.
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