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Navy Stands Up Task Force to Fix Reliability Issues of LCS Fleet

Ship material defects

Navy Stands Up Task Force to Fix Reliability Issues of LCS Fleet

The Navy has formed a task force focused on increasing the reliability of littoral combat ships that have been affected by material defects.

Task Force LCS is currently working on addressing five reliability issues on Freedom-variant ships and four more on Independence-variant ships that have resulted in the most lost operational days.

According to Vice Adm. Roy Kitchener, commander of naval surface forces, the flawed parts on the warships have cost the Navy hundreds of days of operations, Defense News reported Tuesday.

Design flaws in the combining gears of the Freedom-class LCS have long been a problem for the Navy and have resulted in setbacks to the LCS Milwaukee and the LCS Fort Worth. Recent combining gear defects have forced the service to discontinue deliveries of the Freedom-variant warships.

The developer of the defective combining gear, German firm RENK, has worked with Lockheed Martin to develop a fix. The modified parts have completed ground-based testing and are set to undergo sea-based testing.

Other reliability issues on the Freedom-variant warships were found on parts related to the diesel generator rigid mount, fuel lines, water jets and boat davits.

Material defects on the Independent-class LCS are tied to water cylinders, water jet pressure switches, diesel engines and water jackets for engines.

Kitchener expects to see improvements in the LCS fleet’s reliability in the next two years. Within that time frame, he anticipates that the warships will be able to better meet operational commanders’ requirements.

In the long-term, he hopes to deploy an LCS fleet that can help deter high-end adversaries like China and Russia. The goal, Kitchener said, is to have 31 ships by 2026.

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Category: Defense and Intelligence

Tags: combining gear Defense and Intelligence Defense News Freedom-class LCS Independent-class LCS LCS fleet littoral combat ship material defect Roy Kitchener Task Force LCS U.S. Navy