WASHINGTON - The director of the Navy staff talked at the most recent Navy Now Forum March 14 in Washington, D.C., about the future of the program for the littoral combat ship (LCS), one of the Navy's newest warship platforms.
Vice Adm. Richard Hunt took advantage of the session intended to enhance the relationship between the Navy and industry partners by discussing the progress the Navy's LCS Council has made in furthering the development of integrating LCS ships into fleet operations.
"I want to make sure that we keep the avenue for experimentation, innovation going into the future prominently in place with the ship. I think that's really important. When you think about the modularity, when you think about the adaptability we've built into this hull and the capabilities they have at the margin out there across the board on space and power and all the kind of stuff that gets wrapped up in that. I think this is the future," Hunt said.
Hunt highlighted how the LCS Council focused on four lines of operation when war gaming. The first was USS Freedom's (LCS 1) deployment, the second was fleet introduction and sustainability, third was capability evolution, and finally was concept of operations, doctrine, and policy for the platform. One of the take-aways from looking at the platform this way according to Hunt was the importance of staying close to the flexibility the platform was designed to provide.
Future testing of other weapons systems is ideal for the modularity of an LCS ship according to Hunt.
"I think you can bring energy weapons on there, I think you can put a smaller rail gun. It could do lasers. Together work some power issues. There are things that we have to do," Hunt explained. "But as we take the Navy into the next generation, this can be one of those experimental platforms because we can slap stuff on and take it off, and that can really lead the way for how the rest of the surface community and Navy do stuff in the future.
"One word for LCS that I use over and over again is opportunity. We've got to be smart enough to embrace the future. It's going to be terrific," Hunt exclaimed.
The Association of the United States Navy held the networking luncheon at the Navy Memorial. The next Navy Now forum is scheduled for May.