When the first Littoral Combat Ship, the USS Freedom, entered service, the US Navy was full of praise for its new technological nugget. The coastal multi-purpose warship program, which is based on two distinct classes Freedom and Independence, was intended to constitute a revolution in the field of modern naval combat. Highly automated, the LCS notably integrated a modular structure allowing the ship to embark, in the form of containers, different tactical modules, whether to deploy commando units, to carry out mine warfare actions, or to carry out anti-submarine warfare operations. In addition, the Freedom class corvettes had a brand new propulsion system allowing powerful acceleration and a top speed of nearly 50 knots.
Unfortunately, the initial enthusiasm quickly gave way to an endless series of disappointments, and the program was only kept to its conclusion thanks to the repeated intervention of the Senate, which several times refused to allow the US Navy to cancel remaining ships on order. In question, very insufficient operational capacities and firepower given the evolution of threats, even in the coastal zone, the failure of the modular design which leaves the ships in a standard format incapable of carrying out ASW or war missions. mines, and a fragile and failing propulsion system for the 17 units of the Freedom class.
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