LCS-4 Deployment Will Evaluate Ship Capabilities Ahead of 2018 Frigate Downselect

USNI News – As the Navy shifts from a two-variant frigate acquisition plan to a competition between the two Littoral Combat Ship builders, getting USS Coronado (LCS-4) out on its first deployment ahead of the frigate downselect will go a long way in validating the ship’s advertised capabilities. The first two Lockheed Martin Freedom-variant LCSs, USS Freedom (LCS-1) and USS Fort Worth (LCS-3), have both deployed for a total of about 28 months of forward-deployed experience. Coronado, though, will be the first Austal USA-built Independence-variant LCS to deploy overseas.