LCS fulfills a crucial role in the six core areas of the Navy’s Maritime Defense Strategy, “A Cooperative Strategy for 21st Century Seapower.”
Forward Presence- With half of the LCS fleet deployed at all times, the LCS Blue/Gold crew rotation provides more stability and ownership while also providing greater forward presence.
Deterrence- LCS is suited to build and strengthen maritime partnerships by training and operating with smaller, regional navies, as well as entering previously inaccessible, shallow-water foreign ports. Operational commanders will have an ideal asset available for Theater Security Cooperation (TSC) tasking, freeing large surface combatants for other missions.
Sea Control- LCS will use its modular mission packages to control Sea Lines of Communication by defeating swarming surface craft, enhancing the Fleet’s ASW capability, both in littoral waters and in concert with current ASW forces in the open ocean, and counter mine threats to sea lines of communication, particularly in global commerce chokepoints.
Power Projection- LCS will defeat anti-access threats such as mines, small surface craft, and submarines, to gain and sustain maritime supremacy in the littorals.
Maritime Security- LCS is ideally suited to conduct Maritime Security Operations (MSO) including countering piracy, terrorism, and drug trafficking. LCS is a cost effective means to fulfill maritime security missions as compared to larger, multi-mission surface combatants
Humanitarian Assistance/Disaster Response (HA/DR)- The forward presence of LCS operating in theater ensures Geographic Combatant Commanders will always have several ships available to respond to HA/DR tasking. Each LCS is aviation capable, allowing it to conduct search and rescue (SAR) and airborne logistics. The 40+ knot sprint speed of LCS allows for quick, intra-theater positioning. With a shallow draft, LCS will be able to access a wider range of littoral water space than any other combatant.
LCS Mission Packages
LCS is a modular, reconfigurable ship, with three types of Mission Packages: Surface Warfare (SUW) Mission Package, Mine Countermeasures (MCM) Mission Package, and Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) Mission Package.
The SUW Mission Package provides the capability to detect, classify, track, and engage multiple groups of small boats, and it can be configured with the Maritime Security Module (MSM) for Maritime Interdiction Operations (MIO), Visit, Board, Search and Seizure (VBSS), drug and counter piracy operation. The ship’s speed, SUW MP capabilities, manned and unmanned aviation assets, extend the ship’s surveillance and attack potential.
The LCS MCM Mission Package provides mine detection, neutralization, and sweeping utilizing both helicopters and unmanned vehicles and supports joint operations conducted ahead of or concurrent with power projection forces
The LCS ASW MP is designed to provide ASW capabilities while operating in a littoral (deep and shallow) water environment. Operating in conjunction with other fleet assets, it is a force multiplier that specializes in providing first response littoral ASW capabilities, to include: ASW prosecution in shallow waters; barrier operations/sustainment of secure maneuver area; direct support to a carrier strike group (CSG), expeditionary strike group (ESG), amphibious ready group (ARG), surface action group (SAG), or maritime prepositioning forces in a littoral environment; high value unit escort; and operational deception.