Navy tests LCS weapons package components

July 2, 2012 at 10:10 AM
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SAN DIEGO, July 2 (UPI) -- Gun and other components of the warfare mission package of the U.S. Navy's Littoral Combat Ships have completed Phase One development testing.

The Navy said the tests involved surface warfare components such as the MK 46 gun system, .50-caliber and 7.62mm machine guns, rigid inflatable boats and an MH-60R helicopter outfitted with a Hellfire simulator.

"The capabilities included in the surface warfare mission package will project power and presence in key overseas environments," said Rear Adm. James Murdoch, program executive officer Littoral Combat Ships. "An LCS outfitted with these capabilities, teamed with the ship's inherent speed and maneuverability, will provide a capability in a single platform never before available to the U.S. Navy."

The tests were performed recently using the USS Freedom, the first ship of the LCS class, which is modular and as such allows rapid reconfiguring of mission packages for fleet protection from small boats and other asymmetrical threats.

"Although data collected during testing remains under analysis, the systems accomplished each of the challenging test scenarios," said Capt. John Ailes, program manager for LCS Mission Module Integration. "The LCS program continues to mature and demonstrate that this ground-breaking concept of operations works and works well."

The Navy said Phase Two developmental testing of the weapons package will begin in August, with initial operational testing and evaluation scheduled for early 2014.

In addition to surface warfare packages, the Navy plans mine-counter-measure and anti-submarine packages for the 55 LCS ships it will acquire.

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