The Air Anti-Submarine Warfare Systems program office at the Naval Air Systems Command is evaluating the feasibility of using a compact rapid-attack weapon (CRAW), developed originally for ship torpedo defense, as an antisubmarine-warfare (ASW) weapon for the conventional-hull Freedom (LCS-1) and the trimaran Independence (LCS-2) variants of the littoral combat ship (LCS).
The Naval Sea Systems Command, Program Executive Office (PEO) for Littoral Combat Ships, and the Office of Naval Research (ONR), as well as industry officials have participated in the discussions.
The Navy’s larger surface combatants—Ticonderoga-class cruisers and Arleigh Burke–class destroyers—employ torpedoes and the vertical-launch antisubmarine (VLA) rocket for the ASW mission. The LCSs, however, have no capability to launch an ASW weapon from the ship’s deck.
PEO LCS is developing dedicated mission modules for surface, antisubmarine, and mine warfare that, when fielded, will be loaded and offloaded depending on the ship’s mission. The modules consist of the mission systems—weapons and sensors—and support equipment.