The 127m surface combatant ship, equipped with open architecture-based combat systems and computing environment, is scheduled for delivery to the Navy in July 2009. The original contract was awarded in July 2003. Bath Iron Works is a subsidiary of General Dynamics.
The Littoral Combat Ship is intended to operate in coastal areas. It is fast, manoeuvrable and geared to supporting mine detection and elimination, anti-submarine warfare and anti-surface warfare, particularly against small surface craft.
The General Dynamics Littoral Combat Ship will have one of the largest usable payload volumes by weight of ship displacement of any US Navy surface combatant afloat today. The LCS’s large flight deck sits higher above the water than any US Navy surface combatant and will support near-simultaneous operation of two SH-60 helicopters or multiple unmanned vehicles.
The stable trimaran hull allows for flight operations in high sea conditions. In addition, the deck is suitable for landing the much-larger H-53 helicopters, should that become a future requirement.