Politics

Meet the littoral combat ship

Updated 2:32 AM ET, Wed August 31, 2016
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The USS Independence (LCS 2), left, and USS Coronado (LCS 4) steam in the Pacific Ocean. The two are of the Independence variant LCS. Ships of this variant are 416.8 feet in length with a beam of 103.7 feet and a displacement of 3,100 metric tons. U.S. Navy photo by Chief Mass Communication Specialist Keith DeVinney/Released
The littoral combat ship USS Freedom (LCS 1) returns to Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam in Hawaii in 2010. MC2(AW/SW) Jon Dasbach/Navy Visual News Service (NVNS)/U.S. Navy
The USS Fort Worth (LCS 3) conducts patrols in international waters of the South China Sea near the Spratly Islands as the Chinese guided-missile frigate Yancheng follows. The Fort Worth is a Freedom variant LCS. Ships of this variant are 387.6 feet in length with a beam of 57.7 feet and a displacement of 3,400 metric tons. Click through the gallery to see more of the LCS classes. U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Conor Minto/Released
Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus speaks in Gulfport, Mississippi, at the christening ceremony for the USS Jackson in December 2015. MCC Sam Shavers/U.S. Navy
The future USS Little Rock (LCS-9) was christened and launched into the Menominee River in Marinette, Wisconsin, on July 18, 2015. The Little Rock is a Freedom variant littoral combat ship. From Lockheed Martin
Chief Gunner's Mate Nicholas Bokan, assigned to Surface Warfare Mission Package, Detachment 1, embarked aboard the littoral combat ship USS Fort Worth (LCS 3), rigs a caving ladder on the flight deck during a visit, board, search, and seizure training drill. U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Conor Minto
The littoral combat ship USS Independence (LCS 2) conducts maneuvers with the aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76) during Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) Exercise 2014. U.S.Navy Photo
Boatswain's Mate 2nd Class Adam Garnett, from Anchorage, Alaska, signals an AH-1 Cobra helicopter from Marine Air Group (MAG) 24 during deck landing qualification training aboard the USS Fort Worth (LCS 3). The LCSs are designed to support air operations by both helicopters and helicopter drones. U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Antonio P. Turretto Ramos
A rigid-hull inflatable boat prepares to enter the littoral combat ship USS Freedom (LCS 1) during training off the coast of Southern California. U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Tim D. Godbee
Sailors assigned to Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron (HSM) 35 prepare an MQ-8B Fire Scout unmanned aircraft system for flight operations aboard the littoral combat ship USS Fort Worth (LCS 3). U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Antonio P. Turretto Ramos
Sailors assigned to Surface Warfare Detachment Four of the littoral combat ship USS Fort Worth (LCS 3) Crew 102 prepare to board a naval training vessel. U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Katarzyna Kobiljak
Chief Fire Controlman Beth Simpson-Fuchs moves 57 mm rounds aboard the littoral combat ship USS Fort Worth (LCS 3) while in port at Changi Naval Base Singapore. The 57mm gun is part of the LCS's core ship weapons. U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Antonio P. Turretto Ramos
Gunner's Mate 2nd Class Andrew Thomasy and Fire Controlman 1st Class Waylon Clement, assigned to Surface Warfare Detachment 3, load high-explosive incendiary tracer rounds into the ammunition feeder-can of a 30mm weapons system aboard the littoral combat ship USS Fort Worth (LCS 3). The 30mm guns are part of the LCS surface warfare package. U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Antonio Turretto
A Kongsberg Naval Strike Missile is launched from the littoral combat ship USS Coronado (LCS 4) during missile testing operations off the coast of Southern California in September 2014. The missile scored a direct hit on a mobile ship target. U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Zachary D. Bell
An MQ-8B Fire Scout unmanned aircraft system from Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron (HSM) 35 performs ground turns aboard the USS Fort Worth (LCS 3) in May 2015. U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Conor Minto
An aerial view of the future littoral combat ship USS Gabrielle Giffords (LCS 10), an Independence variant during its launch sequence in February 2015 at the Austal USA shipyard. The Navy has plans for 20 littoral combat ships. U.S. Navy photo/Released
The littoral combat ship USS Independence (LCS 2) demonstrates its maneuvering capabilities in the Pacific Ocean off the coast of San Diego. LCS crew commander John Kochendorfer described the ships as "a military jet ski with a flight deck and a gun." U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Daniel M. Young/Released
The littoral combat ship USS Sioux City (LCS 11) is prepared for launch at the Lockheed-Martin facility in Marinette, Wisconsin. Lockheed-Martin