The Sioux City is a Freedom variant of the littoral combat ship, and it carries a 57mm gun. The 57mm Bofors gun can fire airburst or conventional rounds at up to 4 rounds per second, shredding small boats or attackers on shore.
When President Donald Trump announced that the US Navy would dominate the oceans with “beautiful warships”, many still believed it was a vision away from reality because it would be costly. With President Trump’s commitment to build a naval force of 355 ships, the US Navy is still trying to find ways to get that number of ships before 2050. Meanwhile, China has begun to rise.
On November 17, 2018, the US Navy officially commissioned the USS Sioux City LCS-11, the newest littoral combat ship. It’s a quick and lethal addition to the fleet that can carry missiles, helicopters, and mines, despite being one of the smaller commissioned ships the US Navy has. USS Sioux City is a Freedom-class littoral combat ship of the United States Navy.
She is the first ship named after Sioux City, the fourth-largest city in Iowa. The ceremonial “laying of the keel” was on February 19, 2014, at Marinette, Wisconsin. The ship was constructed by Fincantieri Marinette Marine and launched on January 30, 2016. Sioux City was delivered to the Navy by Lockheed Martin and the Marinette Marine shipyard on August 22, 2018 along with sister ship Wichita (LCS-13) in a double delivery.
The Freedom class is one of two classes of the littoral combat ship program, built for the United States Navy as a contender for a fleet of small, multipurpose warships to operate in the littoral zone. These are designed to combat with small craft, rather than equal warships. These ships are designed to have a shallow draft and operate at high speed.
Like her class sisters, USS Sioux City has been designed as a modular, the design incorporates a large reconfigurable seaframe to allow rapidly interchangeable mission modules. The ship is a semi-planing steel monohull with an aluminum superstructure.
The USS Sioux City has a flight deck with hangar and can support helicopter. The hangar accommodates either one MH-60R or MH-60S Seahawk helicopter or, alternatively, two MQ-8 Fire Scout drones. The ship uses a Trigon traversing system to move helicopter in and out of the hangar. It also has a 3-axis crane to move loads aboard the deck.
The ship’s propulsion system is two Rolls-Royce MT30 gas turbine engines, producing 48,000 horsepower. Along with that are two Colt-Pielstick 16PA6B diesel engines providing 9,100 horsepower, in addition to four Rolls-Royce waterjets. Four 750-kilowatt Fincantieri Isotta Fraschini diesel generators provide 3 megawatts of electrical power to power the ship systems.
These allows the ship to travel at a maximum speed of 50 knots, a range of up to 4,300 Nautical mile at 20 knots, the endurance up to 21 days. It is 115m in length and displaces 3,500 tons.
The Sioux City is a Freedom variant of the littoral combat ship, and it carries a 57mm gun. The 57mm Bofors gun can fire airburst or conventional rounds at up to 4 rounds per second, shredding small boats or attackers on shore. The ship is equipped with a RIM-116 Rolling Airframe Missiles system, allows the ship to engage anti-ship missiles, aircraft, and surface vessels and can even track and engage multiple targets at once.
Sioux City has two 12.7mm machine guns and the ALEX decoy system, allows the ship to create a massive radar signature to spoof missiles heading at the ship or a fleet that it’s supporting. The Sioux City also has a Honeywell Mk 50 Torpedo, a lightweight torpedo that’s great for hitting fast-moving and deep-diving submarines.
The surface warfare module adds an MH-60R helicopter equipped with Hellfire missiles, a Firescout drone helicopter that can be equipped with guided rockets, and a pack of 24 Longbow Hellfire missiles that can be launched in rapid succession if necessary.
This allows the Sioux City to slaughter swarm attacks as well as threaten ships and troops operating near the shore. The ship carries rigid-hull inflatable boats in this configuration which it can launch and recover from its stern ramp.
Sensor and radar
One of its best core assets is the new radar, which can keep track of 1,000 contacts at once. The ship is to be equipped with TRS-4D naval radar. It is an Active Electronically Scanned Array built by Airbus Defense and Space.
The ship also has Lockheed Martin’s combat management system COMBATSS-21 and AN/SQR-20 towed array to search for submarines.
The core crew will be 40 sailors, usually joined by a mission package crew and an aviation detachment for a total crew of about 75. Automation allows a reduced crew, which greatly reduces operating costs, but workload can still be “gruelling”.
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