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Lockheed Martin’s Multi-mission Combat Ship (MCS): Capability to Protect Territorial Waters and to Detect and Defeat Threats Worldwide

LIMA 2013 Daily News - Lockheed Martin at LIMA 2013
Lockheed Martin’s Multi-mission Combat Ship (MCS): Capability to Protect Territorial Waters and to Detect and Defeat Threats Worldwide
By: Thomas Cosgrove, International Business Development, Lockheed Martin

Maintaining security within the world’s waterways is critical to global commerce and the safety of nations.

In congested littoral environments and in the open ocean, naval ships with multi-mission capabilities operating alone or as part of a joint task force offer the best protection against a variety of conventional and asymmetric threats. These diverse threats include tactical aircraft, submarines, and surface ships, as well as swarming fast attack boats, mines, cruise missiles, and piracy.
Lockheed Martin’s Multi-mission Combat Ship (MCS): Capability to Protect Territorial Waters and to Detect and Defeat Threats Worldwide
The MCS comes in many configurations and sizes ranging from 85 meters to 118 meters and displacing from 1,600 tons to 3,500 tons.
Picture: Lockheed Martin
Using its experience with the U.S. Navy’s littoral shipbuilding program, Lockheed Martin’s Multi-mission Combat Ship (MCS) is a next generation, multi-role combatant that addresses the maritime challenges facing today’s navies. By its use of both dynamic hull design/performance and leading edge technology to integrate system, sensor and weapons capabilities, the multi-mission combat ship provides the necessary maritime security and war fighting prowess.

As a fast, highly-maneuverable, low draft vessel that can execute missions in the open seas and shallow waters, the ship provides a baseline hull structure that suits many partner navy requirements. Current interest in the hull lengths range from 85 meters to 118 meters and displacement ranges from 1,600 tons to 3,500 tons. The ship’s hull form is proven from 67 meters to 150 meters at various displacements.

With its hull design flexibility and open architecture combat management system, the MCS aligns with many partner navies’ preference for multi-mission, fixed combat systems with the flexibility to allocate reconfigurable space for use with modular and unmanned systems.
The adaptable design of MCS allows for insertion of partner navy- designated, fixed multi mission or modular systems, e.g., vertical launchers and/or surface-to-surface missile canisters, without major structural impact. It is also cost-effective to build, customize and maintain as it’s based on a producible and affordable design that already meets U.S. Navy standards.

The MCS is able to conduct naval maritime missions focused on increasing global security, including surveillance and intelligence-gathering, patrolling territorial waters, and enforcing economic exclusion zones. The ship features endurance and habitability for extended operations. Its large aviation flight deck and hangar for manned and unmanned platforms supports dual air vehicle operations. Its waterborne mission zone with a reconfigurable space supports safe and expedient launch and recovery of multiple RHIB boat operations and unmanned vehicle use. This combination of inherent capability is well-suited for supporting counterterrorism activities, anti-piracy missions, special operations missions, maritime interdiction, and humanitarian relief operations for military forces.

With its intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) capability, the ship can also share its data as part of a larger, national network that maintains a common operational picture ashore. This naval ISR ability strengthens the coordination of the nation’s operating forces.

Its command and decision system can integrate data from remote sensors, linked helicopters, friendly naval vessels, and shore based command centers. Although the sensor, weapon and operational capabilities of a single ship are important, its ability to accurately and quickly share information to make decisions is the best way to ensure success in modern naval operations. It also will allow interoperability with U.S. and allied naval forces in joint operations.

To deter and interdict when necessary, the MCS’ combat system is scaled from Aegis open architecture. It is proved and in use globally on more than 100 ships in six navies. With its battle-tested lineage, the ships can be equipped to meet a variety of missions including anti-air, mine countermeasures, anti-surface, anti-submarine and electronic warfare. Configuring ships to meet customer navy requirements by tailoring systems and automation with integrated sensors and weapons is an efficient way to counter regional threats.

As naval forces worldwide look to the future, they see significant potential for instability and dynamic challenges to sovereign maritime security, including territorial boundaries and international commerce. Addressing those threats – considering the cost of the ships, weapons systems, technology and electronic systems – makes a forward-looking, multi-mission, and flexible ship that much more important. That’s what the Lockheed Martin Multi-mission Combat Ship (MCS) can bring to navies worldwide – an effective solution to meet those challenges today, while providing the capability for adaptation in the future.

Visit Lockheed Martin during LIMA'13 on stand A270.