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January 11, 2018 at 5:13 pm

Alumni News | History’s Wills Publishes on Littoral Combat Ship, Modular Mission Packages

Ohio University alum Steven Wills ’17Ph.D. published an article headlined “LCS: Beyond the Modules” in Real Clear Defense.

Wills, now an analyst at CNA in Arlington, Va., recently earned a Ph.D. in military history from Ohio University, as well as a Certificate in Contemporary History from the College of Arts & Sciences at Ohio University.

Steven Wills

Steven Wills

The Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) has attracted considerable controversy in recent years, including concerns about delays in the development of modular mission packages. But the ship itself, in both the Marinette and Austal variants, is entering the fleet in respectable numbers. Ten LCSs have already been commissioned, and another 11 are in various stages of construction or final preparation. While the LCS cannot accomplish some of its intended missions such as mine countermeasures until those modules are ready, the ships themselves — known as sea frames, since they are a basic hull upon which modular systems are added — had turned out to have significant potential for missions not envisioned when the class was conceived.

LCS’s open architecture, a modular weight capacity of 180 tons, large rotary-wing aviation facilities and internal bays could support multiple roles. Even without forthcoming mine warfare and antisubmarine warfare modules, the LCS could function as a low-end patrol and presence unit, 21st-century fast transport (APD) or a drone-and-network tender similar to the seaplane tenders of the mid-20th century. Former Deputy Defense Secretary Bob Work predicted that LCS would adapt to operational requirements. These potential missions represent that continuing evolution of the LCS platform.

Read the rest of the article in Real Clear Defense.

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