The Littoral Combat System was one of the Navy’s most significant modernization efforts. The LCS was a push to replace dozens of vessels with next-generation ships capable of fighting off submarines, mines, or swarm attacks from asymmetrical enemies in coastal waters — while also possibly operating against conventional enemy battleships or aerial targets.
The Defence Department eventually cut their order of littoral vessels in half, and some believe the entire LCS program to be a bit of an expensive failure. The LCS was effectively canceled earlier this year when the Pentagon reduced its order from over 50 down to 32 vessels — it turns out the craft was “not expected to be survivable in high-intensity combat” and wasn’t as versatile in facing multiple threats as had initially been hoped.
But the LCS was once at the cutting edge of military technology, and it’s only fitting that it had an infographic to match. This image is from a presentation that Captain Jeff Riedel, the LCS program manager, gave at the Navy League’s 2011 Air Sea Space Exposition. In those heady times, it seemed like the LCS was as simple as “mission module + crew & aircraft support = mission package.” In reality, it would only be a couple years before technological shortcomings and budgetary disputes to all but gutted the program.
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