In 2008, General Dynamic started building the Independence-class ships that were proposed to the US Navy. They entered service in 2010. They perform this task in the same class (LCS) as Freedom ships. However, their future is in doubt.
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LCS (Littoral Combat Ships), ships are intended to provide the US with the solution to the problem of inadequate equipment to combat in the coastal zone. It also serves as a response to China’s growing power. It is difficult to call this class a success because of the problems with its ships. Yesterday we heard about the plans to withdraw all Freedom types, and today, about the problems plaguing the Independence ships, which are part of LCS fleet.
How short? These American ships are bursting. According to Navy Times, the service discovered a major flaw on the Independence ships. This is the most serious flaw and is thought to affect almost half of all copies made to date. It is also a design flaw that makes it difficult to eliminate.
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This problem is directly connected to the Independence class hulls. Six of the thirteen ships that were delivered have cracks in “areas of structural structure subjected more stress.” They all have “underdeveloped design flaws”, with frames 36-45.
These problem areas are not below the waterline but they are so severe that at least one ship (USS Omaha), cannot operate in waves exceeding 2.43 meters. As if all that weren’t enough, command limited speed to less than 15 knots. This is a significant reduction from the 44 knot standard speed. This is not a good result for a ship that had speed as one of its most important assets.
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