The U.S. Navy conducted Functional Integration Testing (FIT) of the Remote Minehunting System (RMS) from USS Fort Worth (LCS 3) April 23-27, marking another milestone for the Littoral Combat Ship Mission Modules program.
The FIT consisted of embarking an RMS model onto the pierside ship, traversing it within the ship to the RMS storage location, and ultimately placing it in the water in the launch position using the ship’s launch, handling, and recovery system. The RMS model mirrors the actual RMS in weight and physical characteristics, but does not contain the propulsion system or the sophisticated electronics systems found on the actual configuration.
Though this was the first partial embarkation of a mine countermeasures mission package (MCM MP) on an LCS Freedom variant, it was not the first time the MCM MP embarked on a littoral combat ship.
“The mine countermeasures mission package is currently undergoing developmental testing aboard USS Independence (LCS 2) that will culminate in operational testing and fleet introduction in late FY15,” said Rear Admiral John Ailes, LCS Mission Modules program manager. “The lessons learned and processes developed from the embarkations on the Independence variant contributed to a very successful and efficient embark aboard Fort Worth.”
Both variants of the LCS are designed to support modularity, and the MCM MP is composed of a number of mission modules, including the RMS, developed to support the concept.
PEO LCS is affiliated with the Naval Sea Systems Command and provides a single program executive responsible for acquiring and sustaining mission capabilities of the littoral combat ship class, from procurement through fleet employment and sustainment. The combined capability of the LCS ships and LCS mission systems is designed to dominate the littoral battle space and provide U.S. forces with assured access to coastal areas.
Press Release, May 28, 2014; Image: Wikimedia