I have had these pictures of the United States Navy new Littoral Combat Ship (LCS), Freedom, kicking around my “project” box for quite some time. I just had a quick comment, well actually quite few when I think about it, on the design of the vessel. Aside for the “America, Fu&^%$ Yeah” type of name, which I must say is quite “been there, done that”, its has to be one of the most ugly warship I have ever seen.
For starters, just who in their right mind designs exhaust outlets on the side of a large ship. Obviously, a major role of a warship is to be awesome and intimidating enough in its own right, so as to make the other side think twice. But lets be real, these exhaust stains on both sides of the ship just look silly. They could have at least tried to camouflage it with paint, or the state of Montana, something, anything would have been better. Over time the engines will get more use and wear and the stain will get bigger and bigger, you’ll need at least 4 of the 40 man crew, dedicated at all times to clean this black carbon streak. Or worst they will be painting it so often that the ship will look like it has develop a cyst on it’s hull.
Freedom is one of the most powerful jet propelled vessel in the world, displacing 3000 tonnes. The semi planning hull is capable of reaching speeds well in excess of 45 knots, powered by a sophisticated CODAG (Combined Diesel and Gas Turbine) engine set up. The main power comes from two Rolls Royce MT30 gas turbines, delivering up to a massive 40 megawatts each, and two Fairbanks Morse Colt Pielstick 16PA6B diesel engines at 6480 kW each, driving four Kamewa 153 water jets.
The overall designs reminds me of the eighties, when GM decided to make more money by putting some “bling” on a Pontiac and calling it a Cadillac, and we all know what great business success they have reaped, from those types of decisions. Maybe its just me, but I am sure this one should make it into uglyship.com’s database.
These pictures are from the Duluth shipping news website and the Wiki.