USS Coronado (LCS-4)

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US Navy 130823-N-EW716-001 USS Coronado conducts at-sea acceptance trials.jpg
USS Coronado on 23 August 2013
History
United States
NameCoronado
NamesakeCoronado[5]
Awarded1 May 2009[2]
BuilderAustal USA[2]
Laid down17 December 2009[2]
Launched14 January 2012[1]
Christened14 January 2012[3]
Acquired27 September 2013[2]
Commissioned5 April 2014[3]
Decommissioned14 September 2022[4]
HomeportSan Diego
Identification
StatusInactive
General characteristics
Class and type Independence-class littoral combat ship
Displacement
Length127.4 m (418 ft)
Beam31.6 m (104 ft)[2]
Draft14 ft (4.27 m)[2]
Propulsion
Speed40+ knots, 47 knots (54 mph; 87 km/h) sprint
Range4,300 nmi (8,000 km; 4,900 mi) at 20 knots (37 km/h; 23 mph)
Capacity210 tonnes
Complement40 core crew (8 officers, 32 enlisted) plus up to 35 mission crew
Sensors and
processing systems
  • Sea Giraffe 3D Surface/Air RADAR
  • Bridgemaster-E Navigational RADAR
  • AN/KAX-2 EO/IR sensor for GFC
Electronic warfare
& decoys
  • EDO ES-3601 ESM
  • 4 × SRBOC rapid bloom chaff launchers
Armament
Aircraft carried

USS Coronado (LCS-4) is an Independence-class littoral combat ship. She is the third ship of the United States Navy to be named after Coronado, California.[3]

Design[edit]

In 2002, the US Navy initiated a program to develop the first of a fleet of littoral combat ships.[6] The Navy initially ordered two trimaran hulled ships from General Dynamics, which became known as the Independence-class after the first ship of the class, USS Independence.[6] Even-numbered US Navy littoral combat ships are built using the Independence-class trimaran design, while odd-numbered ships are based on a competing design, the conventional monohull Freedom class.[6] The initial order of littoral combat ships involved a total of four ships, including two of the Independence-class design.[6] These vessels were designed to be outfitted with reconfigurable payloads, called mission packages, which can be changed out quickly. Mission packages are supported by special detachments that will deploy manned and unmanned vehicles and sensors.[5][7]

Coronado is the second Independence-class littoral combat ship, she was built by Austal USA in Mobile, Alabama.[3] Coronado is the first Independence-class ship to carry standard 7-meter (23 ft) rigid-hulled inflatable boats and improvements in corrosion protection and propulsion over the original Independence (LCS-2) design.[8]

History[edit]

Construction and initial trials[edit]

Coronado is floated out on 9 January 2011

The ship's keel was laid on 17 December 2009.[9] She was launched and christened during a ceremony in Mobile Bay on 14 January 2012 by the ship's sponsor Susan Keith, the daughter of Eleanor Ring, who christened USS Coronado (AGF-11) in 1966.[10][11] Fire is a concern on all the Independence-class ships,[12] and the delivery of Coronado was delayed by two fires during her builder's trials.[13] USS Coronado was delivered on 27 September 2013,[14] and she departed the Austal USA shipyard on 27 January 2014, en route to her commissioning site in Coronado, California.[15] She was commissioned on 5 April 2014,[3] and assigned to Littoral Combat Ship Squadron One in San Diego, California.[16]

On 30 April 2014, the LCS Mission Modules (MM) program successfully completed the first Structural Test Firing (STF) of the 30 mm gun mission module aboard Coronado. The test consisted of installing two 30 mm guns, mission package software, and associated test equipment, loading live ammunition, and conducting three live fire scenarios: gun operations; worst case blast loading; and sustained fire. Multiple tracking exercises using high-speed maneuvering surface targets to simulate single and swarm-boat attacks were the following day. Surface warfare tracking and live fire exercises were scheduled in summer 2014, culminating in initial operational test and evaluation in 2015. Coronado is the first Independence-class LCS to undergo firings of the 30 mm cannons of the surface warfare mission package.[17]

In late July 2014, the Navy confirmed Coronado would test-launch the Norwegian Naval Strike Missile in September. Although there is no current requirement for the missile aboard Littoral Combat Ships, it is significantly larger than the AGM-114 Hellfire missile slated to be integrated onto the ship classes, and the Navy is testing its feasibility in an increased anti-surface warfare role for the ships. The test was meant to provide insight into the missile's capabilities, see if it could fit aboard the ship, and review the detect-to-engage sequence of firing a long-range weapon from an LCS.[18] The test occurred on 24 September 2014. The missile was successfully fired from a launcher positioned on ship's flight deck at a mobile ship target.[19]

In mid-August 2014, Coronado demonstrated the ability to rapidly stage and deploy US Marine Corps ground units. Marine Light Attack Helicopter Squadrons 469 and 303 conducted day and night deck-landing qualifications in preparation for an airborne raid. The Independence-class LCS' features of high speed, a large flight deck, and configurable mission bay can support air and small-boat employment and delivery of Marine ground and air tactical units; a small Marine ground unit can be carried with an embarked mission module.[20]

On 16 October 2014, the Navy announced Coronado conducted dynamic interface testing with the MQ-8B Fire Scout unmanned helicopter. The tests familiarized the crew with operating the unmanned aircraft, verified and expanded launch and recovery envelopes, and identified opportunities for envelope expansion to demonstrate future concepts of operations for the aircraft aboard an LCS using the Fire Scout in all three mission packages. Final Contract Trials (FCT) for the ship were completed in June 2014, and Coronado is scheduled to begin Post Shakedown Availability in October 2014.[21]

Active service: 2016–2022[edit]

Coronado undergoing final retrofit in Mobile on 1 September 2012

On 19 July 2016, while participating in the Rim of the Pacific Exercise, Coronado conducted a live-fire missile test of a Block 1C Harpoon anti-ship missile.[22] While the missile failed to destroy its target, the test validated the ability to launch high-powered missiles from the forward deck of a littoral combat ship.[22]

On 16 October 2016, Coronado arrived in Singapore for a scheduled rotational deployment to the Indo-Asia-Pacific region. This was the first Independence-class LCS deployment to the region, the first deployment of the MQ-8B fitted with the Telephonics AN/ZPY-4(V)1 radar, and the first deployment of an LCS platform with an over-the-horizon anti-ship capability in the form of a four-cell RGM-84D Harpoon Block 1C missile launcher.[23][24]

February 2020, the Navy announced the retirement of both Independence and Coronado after ten and six years of service respectively.[25] The decision came after the Navy discovered cracks in the hull in late 2019, which were exacerbated when the ship sailed at speeds greater than 15 knots (28 km/h; 17 mph) in heavy seas. Evaluations of other Independence-class ships have revealed a further five hulls that are suffering from the same problem, out of the first thirteen vessels of the class. Those other vessels remain in service, albeit with limitations imposed on top speeds in higher sea states.[26]

On 17 March 2020, United States Pacific Fleet reported a crew member of Coronado tested 'positive' for COVID-19, one of the initial ships in the US Navy to report a case.[27] The Coronado crew were at their home port in San Diego, so the sailor quarantined at home.[27] By 26 March 2020, a further eight sailors had tested positive and over thirty had been quarantined in an attempt to contain the spread of the virus.[28]

On 20 June 2020, the US Navy announced they would be taking Coronado out of commission in March 2021, and placing her, along with the littoral combat ships Freedom, Independence, and Fort Worth in reserve.[29][30] The ship's decommissioning was deferred, and on 18 June 2021, Naval News reported that Coronado would be inactivated in FY 2022 and put on the Out of Commission in Reserve (OCIR) list.[31] Coronado nevertheless took part in Portland Fleet Week 2022, on 8-12 June, along with destroyer USS Michael Monsoor, three US Coast Guard cutters and a pair of Royal Canadian Navy ships.[32]

Coronado was decommissioned on 14 September 2022 at San Diego, California. The ceremony’s guest speaker was Rear Admiral Wayne Baze, commander of Expeditionary Strike Group 3.[4][33]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Reed, John (17 January 2012). "The Navy's Newest LCS Launches". DefenseTech.org. Retrieved 16 May 2015.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h "Coronado (LCS 4)". Naval Vessel Register. Retrieved 25 July 2016.
  3. ^ a b c d e Senior Chief Mass Communication Specialist Donnie W. Ryan (5 April 2014). "USS Coronado Commissioned in Namesake City" (Press release). United States Navy. NNS140405-05. Retrieved 10 December 2015.
  4. ^ a b "USS Coronado (LCS 4) Decommissions" (Press release). United States Navy. 14 September 2022. Retrieved 15 September 2022.
  5. ^ a b Department of the Navy (12 March 2009). "Navy Names Littoral Combat Ship USS Coronado" (Press release). Navy News Service. NNS090312-19. Retrieved 10 December 2015.
  6. ^ a b c d "US Navy Fact File: Littoral Combat Ship Class – LCS". US Navy. Retrieved 30 October 2015.
  7. ^ Wilkinson, Kaija (1 May 2009). "Austal to build its second LCS for U.S. Navy; not yet clear if laid off employees will return". Press-Register. Retrieved 16 May 2015.
  8. ^ Osborn, Kris (27 June 2014). "Navy Engineers LCS Changes". www.dodbuzz.com. Monster. Retrieved 12 July 2014.
  9. ^ "General Dynamics Littoral Combat Ship Team Delivers Independence (LCS 2) and Lays Keel for Coronado (LCS 4)" (Press release). PR Newswire. 18 December 2009. Retrieved 16 May 2015.
  10. ^ "USA: Austal Christens Independence-Variant Littoral Combat Ship Coronado". World Maritime News. 17 January 2012. Archived from the original on 7 March 2014.
  11. ^ Austal USA (14 January 2012). "LCS-4 Christened Coronado" (Press release). Navy News Service. NNS120114-16. Retrieved 10 December 2015.
  12. ^ Scutro, Andrew (7 April 2009). "Next-gen ship: spacious feel, little steel". Navy Times. Retrieved 16 May 2015.
  13. ^ Cavas, Christopher P. (31 May 2013). "LCS matures, new missile coming". Navy Times. Retrieved 16 May 2015. (subscription required)
  14. ^ "U.S. Navy Accepts Delivery of Future USS Coronado". World Maritime News. Retrieved 30 September 2013.
  15. ^ PEO LCS Public Affairs (27 January 2014). "Future USS Coronado (LCS 4) Begins Sailaway" (Press release). Mobile, Alabama: Navy News Service. NNS140127-16. Retrieved 21 February 2015.
  16. ^ "LCS Squadron 1". public.navy.mil. Retrieved 25 February 2018.
  17. ^ Naval Sea Systems Command (16 May 2014). "Structural Test Firing of Surface Warfare Gun Module on USS Coronado Successful" (Press release). Navy News Service. NNS140516-11. Retrieved 10 December 2015.
  18. ^ Cavas, Christopher P. (24 July 2014). "LCS to conduct test of Norwegian missile". Military Times. Retrieved 16 May 2015.
  19. ^ LeGrone, Sam (24 September 2014). "Norwegian Missile Test On Littoral Combat Ship Successful". USNI News. Retrieved 16 May 2015.
  20. ^ "Littoral Combat Ship USS Coronado (LCS 4) Conducts Integration Exercise with U.S. Marines". Navyrecognition.com. 21 August 2014. Retrieved 16 May 2015.
  21. ^ Program Executive Office, Littoral Combat Ships Public Affairs (16 October 2014). "USS Coronado (LCS 4) Conducts Dynamic Interface Testing with MQ-8B Fire Scout" (Press release). Navy News Service. NNS141016-15. Retrieved 10 December 2015.
  22. ^ a b Lockie, Alex (21 July 2016). "A major element of US Naval strategy came to fruition in this 15-second clip". Business Insider. Retrieved 23 July 2016.
  23. ^ Wong, Kelvin (17 October 2016). "First Independence variant LCS arrives in Singapore for rotational deployment with Harpoon missile fit". Jane's Information Group. Retrieved 18 October 2016.
  24. ^ "Littoral Combat Ship USS Coronado Arrives in Singapore". usni.org. 18 October 2016. Retrieved 8 June 2022.
  25. ^ Kyle Mizokami (12 February 2020). "The Navy Wants to Retire a Ship That's Only Six Years Old". Popular Mechanics. Retrieved 17 February 2020.
  26. ^ Ziezulewicz, Geoff (10 May 2022). "The littoral Combat Ship's Latest Problem: Class-wide Structural Defects Leading to Hull Cracks". defensenews.com. Defense News. Retrieved 8 June 2022.
  27. ^ a b Affairs, From U. S. Pacific Fleet Public. "USS Coronado Sailor tests positive for COVID-19". cpf.navy.mil.
  28. ^ "An outbreak on a Navy warship — and an ominous sign of a readiness crisis". Archived from the original on 31 March 2020. Retrieved 1 August 2020.
  29. ^ Trevithick, Joseph (1 July 2020). "Navy Will Mothball Its First Four Littoral Combat Ships In Nine Months If Congress Lets It". thedrive.com. Retrieved 24 July 2020.
  30. ^ Larter, David B. (1 July 2020). "US Navy's first 4 littoral combat ships to leave the fleet in 9 months". DefenseNews.com. Retrieved 29 August 2020.
  31. ^ Manaranche, Martin (18 June 2021). "U.S. Navy Issues FY22 Shipbuilding And Decommissioning Totals To Congress". Naval News. Retrieved 18 June 2021.
  32. ^ "Portland Fleet Week Underway: Tickets, Bridge Lifts And Ships". patch.com. 8 June 2022. Retrieved 8 June 2022.
  33. ^ Geoff, Ziezulewicz (15 September 2022). "LCS Coronado decommissioned after less than 9 years of active service]". Navy Times. Retrieved 15 September 2022.

External links[edit]