Despite being mired in controversy from its inception, the LCS is a multi-mission platform that fills the capabilities gap the Navy faces in the littorals.
In January 2011, Proceedings published an article entitled “The Wrong Ship at the Wrong Time,” which called for the Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) program to be canceled and replaced by a proven single-mission hull. 1 Since then, the LCS has remained one of the most controversial ships the Navy has ever developed. Most of this controversy stems from the typical shortfalls associated with a research-and-development vessel; however, as LCSs transition to Fleet assets, they provide significant capabilities the Navy needs. The potential of these vessels will become even more evident as the USS Freedom (LCS-1) executes and completes her inaugural overseas deployment to the Western Pacific this year. It is now abundantly clear that the LCS is the right ship at the right time.