Friday, July 11, 2008
The propulsion plant of the nation's first Littoral Combat Ship, Freedom (LCS 1), has completed testing in preparation for dock trials. The ship is now ready to begin dock trials -- the final stage of testing before underway trials. "Freedom is now exercising her propulsion train to the full extent possible in port, running the gas turbines and diesel engines; spinning shafts and pumping water through the steerable water jets," said Dan Schultz, vice president and general manager of Lockheed Martin's Maritime Security & Ship Systems line of business. "We are looking forward to beginning underway trials in the lakes and demonstrating the capabilities this unique ship will bring to the U.S. Navy." The agile 378-foot Freedom is powered by an innovative, combined diesel and gas turbine propulsion plant, with steerable water jet propulsion. This system will power the ship at cruise speeds out to ranges exceeding 3,500 nautical miles and will also allow the ship to sustain sprint speeds over 40 knots. Dock trials includes a series of demonstrations of propulsion, navigation, communication and other systems conducted to ensure the ship is ready for sea trials.There has been rapid progress on Freedom since the beginning of the year. In February, LCS 1's four 750-kilowatt Fincantieri Isotta Fraschini diesel generators were lit off and its three-megawatt electrical power plant was successfully tested. In March and April, initial testing of the two Fairbanks Morse diesel engines occurred. The two Rolls-Royce MT30 gas turbine engines -- the largest and most powerful ever installed on a Navy ship -- were successfully lit off and tested in May, as were the steerable Rolls-Royce Kamewa water jets. Over the next few weeks, dockside testing of the ship's engines and other systems will conclude at Marinette Marine in preparation for underway trials. Freedom will be delivered to the U.S. Navy in 2008 and will be home ported in San Diego. The Lockheed Martin team's design for LCS is a survivable, semi-planing steel monohull that provides outstanding maneuverability with proven sea-keeping characteristics to support launch and recovery operations, mission execution and optimum crew comfort. Team members also include naval architect Gibbs & Cox, ship builders Marinette Marine, a subsidiary of The Manitowoc Company, Inc. , and Bollinger Shipyards, as well as best-of-industry domestic and international teammates to provide a flexible, low-risk war fighting solution.