LM Planning Littoral Ship With Reconfigurable Hull
By Lisa Troshinsky
04/06/2004 10:38:15 AM
Lockheed Martin Maritime Systems & Sensors (MS2) is planning an innovative small, high-speed littoral ship that would be able to engage small attack boats at five nautical miles, George Root, director of advanced programs at Lockheed Martin MS2, said April 5 at the Navy League's Sea-Air-Space Expo.
Lockheed Martin envisions the Covert, High-Speed Attack and Reconnaissance Craft (CHARC) deploying from a larger combatant, which could include a version of the Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) - a program for which Lockheed Martin is competing - Root said.
"One or more CHARCs could comprise a lethal mission module for a large combatant. Likely CHARC missions would be over-the-horizon control of unmanned aerial vehicles, unmanned surface vehicles, and unmanned underwater vehicles, patrolling potential threat sanctuaries, intercept and engagement of hostile surface craft, and clandestine small force insertion," he said.
Major design features include a reconfigurable hull, low signatures, a minimum draft of three to four feet to allow operations in shallow water, a weapons suite of a 20mm gun and Hellfire missiles, modular mission bays capable of supporting other weapons, and a crew of two people with augmentation for mission modules.
The hull could be reconfigured for high speed, loiter-reconnaissance missions, launch and recovery, and for very shallow water, he said.
To develop CHARC, Lockheed Martin leveraged a number of its technologies, including the Sea Slice surface platform that participated in an August 2002 Naval Warfare Development Command experiment to study littoral combat. Lessons learned from Sea Slice are that speed is required to cut response time, tactical agility is critical and seaway stability is vital for both crew and sensors, Root said.
When compared with other assets that attack multiple, small, maneuvering targets on land, such as the AH-64 Apache helicopter, CHARC would eliminate the aircraft's limitations of high signature and long sortie time, Lockheed Martin said.
"CHARC does the same kind of mission at sea [as the AH-64] without the rotor, engines and associated signatures," Root said. "CHARC has an attack helicopter-like upper fuselage, dual-submerged hulls providing stability and speed, tactical agility with variable depth, navalized modular sensors, weapons and command and control, and is able to loiter, patrol and attack in littoral waters."
Рецидивист под пристальным оком спецнадзора.
(для трижды уважаемой администрации: всё вышесказанное--сугубо моё личное скромное субьективное ХО, ни в коей мере не претендуещее на правду в последней инстанции, и основанное исключительно на моем индивидуальном восприятии.)