United States


Small Surface Combatant, International Variant

The next generation of the LCS will fill the role of a traditional frigate, where combat systems are a permanent installation onboard the vessel, as opposed to interchangeable mission packages. The Independence variant trimaran hull is well-suited for the increase in lethality and survivability needed for the frigate mission. For the U.S. Navy, the ship will be outfitted with program-of-record weapon systems (weapon systems that are currently in the U.S. Navy inventory) such as a larger main gun, anti-ship cruise missiles, torpedoes, and a phased array radar. A variant is being developed for the international market, whereby U.S. Navy program of record systems can be swapped out with international weapon systems. The advantage of the trimaran hullform is that it affords the space, weight, and stability margins needed for the wide range of weapon systems needed for the frigate mission.

JHSV Capability Upgrades

The Joint High Speed Vessel has been termed the F-150 of the U.S. Navy fleet. The high-speed catamaran design offers a very flexible and cost-effective hullform which can be outfitted with a wide range of accessories depending on the needs of the customer. Future capability upgrades could include:

  • A stern ramp capable of interoperability between large ships at sea such as the Mobile Landing Platform (MLP) or the Roll-On/Roll-Off Discharge Facility (RRDF) in waves up to four feet.
  • Modifying the flight deck to enable MV-22 take offs and landings. The MV-22 is a vertical take off and landing rotary wing aircraft. During take off and landing, the MV-22 exhaust is pointed directly on to the flight deck. The extreme heat of the exhaust must be dissipated in order to protect the flight deck from overheating. Current research is aimed at finding the most cost effective and lightweight manner to protect the flight deck during MV-22 operations.
  • Adding medical facilities to enable the JHSV to operate as a hospital ship.
  • Adding weapons and sensors to enable the JHSV to operate in hostile environments.
  • Adding anti-mine warfare capability to enable the JHSV to operate as a mine countermeasures ship.