Some design problems persist, some fixes remain to be made, but overall, the littoral combat ship Freedom is moving ahead to meet its deployment schedule for next spring, the commander of the Navy’s surface forces proclaimed.
“My assessment is the ship is sound, the engineering plant is good, combat systems are good,” said Vice Adm. Richard Hunt. “The ship rides very well.”
“It was very pleasing to me to see several areas where we traditionally have problems with pop up pretty solid,” he added. “We had very solid scores on communications, information systems, medical, corrosion.”
The ship handled very well, he said. “Crash back and steering worked fine,” he noted, referring to an evolution where a ship goes from full ahead to full stop to full astern.
“From 35 knots or so, the ship just stopped,” Hunt said, describing the crash back. “It was like being in a Prius; you don’t feel anything. It just changed, settled down and stopped in the water. I’ve never seen anything like that. I’ve been on cruisers, destroyers and frigates, all shaking and things. This ship is just smooth.”
The Freedom, Hunt said, “is in pretty good shape. Fit for service. The stuff we’ve identified is fixable. I think we’ll do better as the crew becomes more comfortable and proficient with operating the system. It’s one of those things when you have to get out there and run it around, and they have not had that luxury.
Hunt said he had seen a great improvement in the Freedom over the past 18 months or so. “I’m not sure I was a believer a year and a half ago, but I’m there now,” he declared.Lots more details as to what is 'OK' and what still needs work with both the Freedom and the design in the article. Read it all here.
|USS Freedom (LCS 1) Passes INSURV: Full Speed Ahead (Source USN)|