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USS Independence LCS-2 - Military Power

Part Stealth Fighter, Part Pirate Hunter—All Ocean-Assault Ship

Jason Thompson
Feb 1, 2010
Photographers: Courtesy of General Dynamics, Courtesy of MTU, Courtesy of Austal
The USS Independence (LCS 2) is one of two ships competing to win the U.S. Navy's contract for 55 multi-role, coast-patrolling littoral combat ships. The other competitor is Lockheed Martin's USS Freedom, which is based on an Italian Fincantieri transatlantic record-setting yacht. The USS Independence is based on a passenger and automobile ferry designed by an Australian company named Austal. Its aluminum-trimaran hull makes it extremely fast and stable during its projected 30-year service life. The USS Independence is rated for speeds in excess of 45 knots (52 mph).
Photo 2/7   |   USS Independence LCS 2 left Side Angle
The Littoral Combat Ship Program
General Dynamics, along with BAE Systems, Austal, Northrup Grumman, L-3 Communications, and Maritime Applied Physics Corporation is the consortium building the USS Independence in Mobile, Alabama. The civilian version has four diesel engines, while the military concept has two diesels and two gas turbines. The U.S. Navy's Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) program began back in 2001, and its main goals were to provide an inexpensive, fast, and versatile fleet able to patrol shallow (littoral) coastal areas. The idea for this came from the Royal Danish Navy and its successful Standard Flex concept, which allows one ship to do multiple tasks by switching mission-specific modules.
This MTU 20V 8000 M90 diesel has its service block at the auxiliary power takeoff (APTO) end of the engine, which is opposite the flywheel. This is done to simplify servicing the filters and pumps while allowing access to the fuel, ocean water, and coolant interfaces. With everything located in a central position, there is less interference with the ship's other systems. This diesel engine has a crankcase with integral intake-air channels: one centrally positioned camshaft, one main oil channel, hydraulically tensioned pins for fitting main bearing caps, and a large inspection cover. The crankcase has no contact with the split-circuit cooling system, and the main bearings are replaceable with the engine in position. The cylinder heads are cast iron with four valves per cylinder. Each of the 20 cylinders is unitized. That means the cylinder head, spacer, cylinder liner, and piston can be replaced individually. The pistons have a forged steel crown and steel piston skirt. They use oil injection cooling, two compression rings, and one oil scraper ring. This MTU engine uses common-rail fuel injection and an automatic oil filter that uses bypass filtration and centrifuges.
Photo 3/7   |   USS Independence LCS 2 MTU 20V 8000 M90 Diesel Engine
USS Independence (LCS 2)
Built By: Austal USA, Mobile, Alabama
Planned Home Port: San Diego, California
Length: 418 feet
Beam (width): 104 feet
Draft: 14 feet
Displacement: 2,800 tons
Propulsion Engines: (2) GE LM2500 gas turbines (29,500 hp each) and (2) MTU 20V8000 M90 diesel engines
Diesel Engine: MTU 20V 8000 M90
Type: Four-cycle, 48-degree V-20
Crankcase and Head Material: Cast iron
Bore: 10.4 inches
Stroke: 12.4 inches
Displacement: 21,200 cubic inches (347.4L)
Engine Length: 21.8 feet
Engine Width: 6.69 feet
Engine Height: 11.08 feet
Max RPM: 1,150 rpm
Horsepower: 12,203
Propulsion System: Four water jets: (2) Wartsila LJ160E and (2) Wartsila LJ150E
Bow Thruster: Two retractable azimuth
Maximum Speed: More than 45 knots (52 mph)
Range: 4,500 nautical miles at 16 knots
Power Generation: (4) additional diesel engines
Mission Bay: 11,800 square feet
Flight Deck: 11,100 square feet
Accommodation: 110 personnel
Armament: (32) vertical launch missiles, (1) 57mm gun, (8) Harpoon missiles, (6) ASW torpedoes
Photo 7/7   |   USS Independence LCS 2 right Rear Angle


General Dynamics
Falls Church, VA 22042
Mobile, AL 36610
U.S. Naval Institute
Annapolis, MD 21402


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