USS Freedom: Quicker, High-Tech and Pirate-Proofed
by Vera H-C Chan
May 5, 2009 11:52:12 AM
1,290 Votes Pirates, quiver in your skiffs. Put down your rocket launchers and run. The USS Freedom has just landed. Or launched. Whatever, just be afraid.
The high-seas bandits' advantage had long been in their nimbleness in a huge ocean. Now, however, the United States Navy is touting the USS Freedom, the lead mothership in its class of Littoral Combat Ships (LCS, and littoral means coastal).
Specifically designed for the "Global War on Terrorism," the 378-foot craft aims at pirates and oh so much more. According to a fact sheet, Freedom can also defy "asymmetric 'anti-access threats such as mines, quiet diesel submarines and fast surface crafts." So seafaring villains thinking of trading in the crafts for submersible diesels, forget about it.
The rip-roaring Freedom has been called the Navy's corvette, but it runs on Rolls-Royce MT turbines, as pictured here. Other Freedom factoids:
45 knots (52 mph)
Staffs smaller crews (Blue and Gold crews, 40 members each)
Has a helicopter launch pad
Feels like a submarine.
Can discharge manned or unmanned boats attached to its sides. Yeah, kind of like Transformers...but not really.
Packs Raytheon RAM missiles, guns, and decoy launching systems
Its success isn't just the boat itself, but a faster shipbuilding process (by about half) and lower materials cost. That may have helped stave off 300 planned or considered layoffs for Marinette Marine: The shipyard that built Freedom received a contract for a second LCS ship.
When it's not cruising around Somalia or any other dangerous waters, USS Freedom will be hanging in San Diego. So beware, beach bums... Dude, don't even think about boarding without an invite.
Last edited by BAJA WILL; 05-05-2009 at 11:36 PM.
Boat is 2 1/2 years old...guessing they just found a use for it.
thats for sure
they spent 3.2 mill $ on fuel for sea tril on the first boat of that class
buddy of mine, in the CG, has his ship in dry dock/Norfolk, says the Freedom is coming into dry dock next to them in a week or so...
This is all well and good but we need the current administration to grow the nutz to use it.
The Navy has had huge high speed turbine hydrofoils at Key West for years. Speed was "classified" but from what we saw they ran well up into the 80's and were easily 150 feet long.
Obsolete and proud of it
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