From what I've read lately this LCS 2 is a dismal failure. Here's a copy/paste from a Wikipedia article. The articles I've read suggest that not only is the ship WAAAAY over budget, it's too heavy, it doesn't meet the speed requirements laid out in the contracts and it's not heavily enough armed to go off by itself. It needs to have an escort of ships that are more heavily armed to protect it. It's basically designed to be a "strike and run" ship and is not designed or intended to engage in any kind of an ongoing battle.
Here's the Wikipedia article......
"The contract was awarded to General Dynamics
in July 2003.
The contract to build her was then awarded to Austal USA of Mobile, Alabama, on 14 October 2005 and her keel was laid down on 19 January 2006. Delivery to the United States Navy was scheduled for December 2008.
The originally planned second General Dynamics ship (LCS-4) was canceled on 1 November 2007.
On 1 May 2009, a second vessel was reordered by the Navy, the Coronado (LCS-4)
. The keel was laid on 17 December 2009,
with delivery scheduled for May 2012.
The Navy currently plans a new bidding process with the FY2010 budget between Lockheed Martin and General Dynamics for the next three littoral combat ships, with the winner building two ships and the loser only one. USS Independence
was christened 5 October 2008 by Doreen Scott, wife of 10th Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy Terry D. Scott
Austal has proposed a much smaller and slower trimaran, called the Multi-Role Vessel
or Multi-Role Corvette
. Though it is only half the size of their LCS design, it would still be useful for border protection and counter piracy operations.
Navy leaders said that the fixed price competition offered the Austal design an equal shot, in spite of its excess size and cost and limited service.
The development and construction of Independence
as of June 2009 was running at 220% over-budget. The total projected cost for the ship is $704 million. The Navy had originally projected the cost at $220 million. Independence
began builder's trials near Mobile, Alabama on 2 July 2009, three days behind schedule because of maintenance issues.
In response to problems with the propulsion plant (the ship experienced a leak in the port gas turbine shaft seal), General Dynamics resequenced the builder's trials to test other systems until this was fixed.
The ship completed builder's trials on 21 October 2009
and acceptance trials on 19 November 2009.
On 9 December 2009 the Navy announced that the ship had completed its first INSURV
inspection. The inspection found 2,080 discrepancies, including 39 high-priority deficiencies, but concluded that all could be resolved before the Navy accepts the ship as scheduled. The ship was delivered to the Navy on 17 December 2009. On 18 December, the Navy officially accepted custody of the ship.
However the ship was found to be incomplete and a second round of acceptance trials was scheduled for 2011.
The ship was commissioned on 16 January 2010 in Mobile, Alabama
and completed her maiden voyage in April 2010.
In 2010 the Navy asked for an additional $5.3 million to correct problems found in the sea trials. Galvanic corrosion
caused by an aluminum hull in contact with the stainless steel propulsion system with sea water acting as an electrolyte
, and electrical currents not fully isolated, caused "aggresive corrosion."
In 2011 the corrosion problem was found to be even worse than expected and repair would require time in a drydock to completely remove the water jets.
In response Austal blamed the US Navy for not properly maintaining the ship.
However the Navy replied that the electrical insulation had been improperly installed during construction.
Later Austal said it had found a fix for the problem that would be tested on the third Austal LCS ship.
Seven United State Senators have sent a letter to the Department of Defense questioning the management of the corrosion problems of Independence
In July 2011, Navy Public Information Officer Christopher G. Johnson said that a "cathodic protection
system" would be installed on the ship.
Such systems generally consist of strategically located deposits of "sacrificial metals" which act as an anode to reduce corrosion of the metal being protected.