The USS Freedom LCS1 was commissioned today in a ceremony in Milwaukee. It is the first LCS class ship in the Navy. It will be used for high speed missions and it can also run in shallow water since it uses water jet propulsion, not propellers. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q98yrPKxmig&feature=related
I was at the commissioning and people were buzzing about this video. Check how the Freedom blows past the other boat. Also take a look at the size of the wake. Wow!
The boat was built in Marinette, WI. So far, it's traveled on sea trials to Duluth, MN and now to Milwaukee for the commissioning. It will end up based in San Diego.
The commissioning was a great ceremony. I happened to be near one of the shipbuilders who spent two years working on this ship. He said that they've gotten it well above 50 MPH in sea trials on Lakes Michigan and Superior. The wake can be enormous. He said that the wake accidentally sunk a sailboat that was moored and the Navy is buying the sailboat owner a new boat.
Some stats from the Navy's commissioning program:
377 feet long, 59 foot beam, 13-14 foot draft.
96,000 horsepower. Two Rolls-Royce gas turbine engines similar to what you'd find on a Boeing 777. Equivalent to 223 Chevy Corvettes.
4 waterjets, each with a 5 foot diameter. It can drain an Olympic size swimming pool in 3 seconds. When running at full power, is has a 25 foot rooster tail that rises above the flight deck.
Also two 16 cylinder diesel engines which deliver 17,370 horsepower. The shipbuilder said that these engines are for lower speed operation in harbors, etc. The program says that these engines deliver the power of 35 semi trucks.
40% of her internal volume is completely reconfigurable (equivalent of 5 basketball courts). The Mission Package modules can be changed in under 24 hours.
Displacement: 3,100 tons.
This is an impressive ship, no doubt about it.