USS Fort Worth

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USS Fort Worth (LCS-3) at sea off Hawaii in November 2014.JPG
Fort Worth off Hawaii in November 2014
United States
Name: Fort Worth
Namesake: Fort Worth, Texas
Awarded: 23 March 2009[1]
Builder: Marinette Marine[1][2]
Laid down: 11 July 2009[1][2]
Launched: 4 December 2010[1]
Sponsored by: Kay Granger[3]
Christened: 4 December 2010[3]
Acquired: 6 June 2012[1][4]
Commissioned: 22 September 2012[1]
Homeport: Naval Base San Diego[1]
Honors and
Battle E 2013[5]
Status: in active service, as of 2018
Badge: USS Forth Worth LCS3 Crest.png
General characteristics
Class and type: Freedom-class littoral combat ship
Displacement: 3,500 metric tons (3,900 short tons) (full load)[6]
Length: 387 ft (118 m)[1]
Beam: 58 ft (17.7 m)[1]
Draft: 13.0 ft (3.9 m)[1]
Propulsion: 2 Rolls-Royce MT30 36 MW gas turbines, 2 Colt-Pielstick diesel engines, 4 Rolls-Royce waterjets
Speed: 45 knots (52 mph; 83 km/h) (sea state 3)
Range: 3,500 nmi (6,500 km; 4,000 mi) at 18 knots (21 mph; 33 km/h)[7]
Endurance: 21 days (504 hours)
Boats & landing
craft carried:
11 m RHIB, 40 ft (12 m) high-speed boats
Complement: 35-50 core crew, 75 mission crew (Rotating crews)
Aircraft carried:
Notes: Electrical power is provided by 4 Isotta Fraschini V1708 diesel engines with Hitzinger generator units rated at 800 kW each.

USS Fort Worth (LCS-3) is a Freedom-class littoral combat ship of the United States Navy. She is the first ship to be named after Fort Worth, Texas, the 15th-largest city in the United States.


In 2002, the U.S. Navy initiated a program to develop the first of a fleet of littoral combat ships.[8] The Navy initially ordered two monohull ships from Lockheed Martin, which became known as the Freedom-class littoral combat ships after the first ship of the class, USS Freedom.[8][9] Odd-numbered U.S. Navy littoral combat ships are built using the Freedom-class monohull design, while even-numbered ships are based on a competing design, the trimaran hull Independence-class littoral combat ship from General Dynamics.[8] The initial order of littoral combat ships involved a total of four ships, including two of the Freedom-class design.[8] Fort Worth is the second Freedom-class littoral combat ship to be built.

Fort Worth includes additional stability improvements over the original Freedom design; the stern transom was lengthened and buoyancy tanks were added to the stern to increase weight service and enhance stability.[10] The ship will also feature automated sensors to allow "conditions-based maintenance" and reduce crew overwork and fatigue issues that Freedom had on her first deployment.[11]


The ship's name was announced 6 March 2009.[12] This was after a long public relations campaign by United States Representative Kay Granger, former Deputy Defense Secretary Gordon R. England, and others.[13]

Fort Worth was built by Lockheed Martin at Marinette Marine shipyard in Marinette, Wisconsin.[4][14] Her keel was laid in a ceremony on 11 July 2009.[15]

The 80% completed ship was launched by its contractor on 4 December 2010.[16][17] The vessel underwent sea trials in Lake Michigan during late 2011, with the completion of these trials announced on 24 October 2011. The ship successfully completed its acceptance trials, which also took place on Lake Michigan, on 4 May 2012.[18][19] The inspectors found only ten severe deficiencies during the trials, an "exponential" improvement over Freedom.[20]

Fort Worth was commissioned at Galveston, Texas on 22 September 2012.[21] She has been assigned to Littoral Combat Ship Squadron One[22]

Operational history[edit]

In November 2013, Fort Worth conducted successful live-fire tests of its 57 and 30 mm cannons (2.2-and-1.2-inch) against small boat targets conducting swarm attacks. Fort Worth was moving fast through the water and assisted by an MH-60R helicopter. The ship's fire control system locked on to and fired on the small maneuvering boats in day and night situations with optical sights. The helicopter provided radar targeting which was passed on to the ship's fire control system.[23] Fort Worth conducted additional evaluations of its surface warfare technologies in early 2014 in scenarios involving small boat swarms, engagements with its 57 mm gun, and search and seizure exercises. Evaluations were successful and validated the surface warfare mission package on the ship.[24]

In November 2013, Fort Worth became the first LCS to test operations with the Northrop Grumman MQ-8 Fire Scout a critical capacity for the LCS program.[25]

On 10 September 2014, the commander of the U.S. 7th Fleet announced that Fort Worth would deploy to the Asia-Pacific region in January 2015. The ship will be used to expand operational envelopes that were not done by the previous deployment of USS Freedom to the region, particularly concerning the mine counter measures (MCM) package. Emphasis on MCM is based on periodic provocations made by North Korea, which has deployed sea mines around the peninsula that have sunk South Korean vessels in the past, so the Navy wants to test the MCM mission in and around the Korean peninsula. Another area of focus is to use the ship to provide "non-traditional" maritime lift for U.S. Marines due to constraints in the number of big deck amphibious vessels available to the 7th Fleet. Operational trials made by Freedom also showed the potential to improve vertical lift replenishment in shallow waters.[26] She deployed with the surface warfare mission-equipment package and was the first LCS deployment with the MQ-8B.[27]

Fort Worth departed her homeport of San Diego on 17 November 2014 for a 16-month rotational deployment to Singapore in support of the U.S. Navy's strategic rebalance to the Pacific. The ship is the first LCS to deploy under the "3-2-1" manning concept, swapping fully trained crews roughly every four months. Under this concept three rotational crews will support two LCS ships and maintain one deployed ship. Fort Worth also deploys with an aviation detachment from Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron 35 (HSM-35) "Magicians", the U.S. Navy's first composite expeditionary helicopter squadron. The aviation detachment will consist of one MH-60R Seahawk helicopter and one Northrop Grumman MQ-8 Fire Scout unmanned autonomous helicopter.[28] Fort Worth reached the 7th Fleet area of responsibility on 4 December 2014. The ship is expected to remain in the area until March 2016.[29] It will be the longest deployment of a U.S. warship in 42 years, since the aircraft carrier USS Midway was under way for 327 days in 1973. The long deployment is to stress the Navy’s logistics capabilities and identify potential problems. Once the deployment is completed, Freedom will take the ship's place, returning to the area again.[30]

On 31 December 2014, Fort Worth was dispatched from Singapore to the Java Sea to take part in the search for Indonesia AirAsia Flight 8501 that crashed on 28 December.[31][32] On 3 January 2015 she arrived in the area to commence search efforts alongside the destroyer USS Sampson at the request of the Indonesian government. The maneuverability and shallow draft of the design allowed her to conduct expeditious visual and radar searches in the congested, shallow water environment.[33] Both ships concluded search efforts on 15 January 2015 after performing 650 combined search hours. Fort Worth provided unique capabilities over the larger Sampson, and employed her two 11-metre (36 ft) RHIBs in 107 hours of operations. A team from Mobile Diving and Salvage Unit One was embarked on the ship, operating three Tow Fish side scan sonar systems to search for wreckage during 78 hours over 12 sq nmi (16 sq mi; 41 km2), the AN/PQS-2A passive sonar to listen for black box pings during 17 hours over 24 sq nmi (32 sq mi; 82 km2), and a remotely operated vehicle to investigate objects.[34]

On 13 May 2015 the Chinese foreign ministry sent a complaint to the United States after Fort Worth made Freedom of navigation passage near Spratly Islands claimed by China.[35] During her deployment to the South China Sea, Fort Worth encountered several warships of the People's Liberation Army Navy, putting the new rules of the Code for Unplanned Encounters at Sea into practice in a "professional" manner.[36]

On 12 January 2016, according to a memo from the service, it was reported that Fort Worth was sidelined in port at Singapore indefinitely because of damage to gears that propel the vessel, which resulted from a failure to use enough lubricating oil.[37] As a result, on 28 March 2016, CDR Michael Atwell, the commander of LCS crew 101 (the LCS is manned by a rotating crew), was relieved of duty and was temporarily replaced by CDR Lex Walker, deputy commodore of Destroyer Squadron 7. The Navy cited the reason for CDR Atwell's removal was "due to a due to loss of confidence in Atwell's ability to command," stemming from initial findings into the incident that sidelined Fort Worth.[38] It is estimated that the repairs to Fort Worth would cost between $20 and $30 million according to defense officials, and it was feared that the ship would need to be heavy-lifted back from Singapore to San Diego so it can be repaired during its scheduled overhaul.[39] However, the USN announced on 13 April 2016, that Fort Worth would transit back to San Diego on her gas turbines instead, with the journey scheduled for summer 2016.[40] It was expected that Fort Worth would take 6 weeks to travel from Singapore to San Diego with several underway replenishments and planned fueling stops along the way. However, a subsequent assessment found that the damage to Fort Worth was less severe than initially believed, and her engines were repaired in Singapore by late July ahead of returning to the United States for further repairs.[41]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j "USS Fort Worth (LCS-3)". Naval Vessel Register. Retrieved 25 July 2016.
  2. ^ a b "Keel to be Laid for Third Littoral Combat Ship". Navy News Service. 10 July 2009. Retrieved 30 December 2014.
  3. ^ a b "Navy to Christen Littoral Combat Ship Fort Worth". Navy News Service. 1 December 2010. Retrieved 30 December 2014.
  4. ^ a b "Navy Accepts Delivery of LCS 3". Navy News Service. 6 June 2012. Retrieved 29 December 2014.
  5. ^ "(title needed)". LCS Crew 103 Rough Riders).
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  7. ^ "LCS Littoral Combat Ship". Archived from the original on 8 August 2007. Retrieved 8 March 2009.
  8. ^ a b c d "US Navy Fact File: Littoral Combat Ship Class – LCS". US Navy. Retrieved 30 October 2015.
  9. ^ O'Rourke, Ronald (4 May 2010). "Navy Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) Program: Background, Issues, and Options for Congress" (pdf). Congressional Research Service. Retrieved 30 December 2014.
  10. ^ Osborn, Kris (27 June 2014). "Navy Engineers LCS Changes". Monster. Retrieved 12 July 2014.
  11. ^ Freedberg Jr., Sydney J. (4 April 2014). "Sleepless In Singapore: LCS Is Undermanned & Overworked, Says GAO". Breaking Media, Inc. Retrieved 30 December 2014.
  12. ^ "Navy Names Littoral Combat Ship USS Fort Worth" (Press release). Department of Defense. 6 March 2009. Retrieved 30 December 2014.
  13. ^ Vaughn, Chris (7 March 2009). "Navy's next warship to be named for Fort Worth". Fort Worth Star-Telegram. Retrieved 8 March 2009.[dead link]
  14. ^ "National Briefing: Lockheed Gets Second Ship Deal". Washington Post. 24 March 2009. Retrieved 30 December 2014.
  15. ^ "Keel Laid for USS Fort Worth (LCS 3)". Marine Link. 13 July 2011. Archived from the original on 25 October 2011. Retrieved 30 December 2014.
  16. ^ "Marinette Marine Christens USS Fort Worth". 5 October 2011. Archived from the original on 25 October 2011. Retrieved 30 December 2014.
  17. ^ "LCS 3 Fort Worth Will Be Christened and Launched Dec". Defense Media Network. 2 December 2010. Archived from the original on 25 October 2011. Retrieved 30 December 2014.
  18. ^ "USA: Lockheed Martin Completes Sea Trials for Third Littoral Combat Ship". Shipbuilding Tribune. 24 October 2011. Archived from the original on 25 October 2011. Retrieved 30 December 2014.
  19. ^ "USS Fort Worth (LCS 3) Completes Acceptance Trials". Navy News Service. 7 May 2012. Retrieved 30 December 2014.
  20. ^ Steele, Jeanette (7 August 2012). "Third littoral class ship much improved, Navy says". The San Diego Union-Tribune. Retrieved 30 December 2014.
  21. ^ Nishimura, Scott (22 September 2012). "USS Fort Worth commissioned in Galveston". Fort Worth Star Telegram. Archived from the original on 23 October 2012.
  22. ^ "LCS Squadron 1". Retrieved 25 February 2018.
  23. ^ Osborn, Kris (12 November 2013). "LCS Defends Against Swarm Boats in Live Fire Tests". Retrieved 30 December 2014.
  24. ^ Osborn, Kris (1 May 2014). "LCS Fort Worth Completes Test as Congress Cools on Program". Retrieved 30 December 2014.
  25. ^ "USS Fort Worth Launches First UAV, Demonstrates LCS Capability". Navy News Service. 15 November 2013. Retrieved 30 December 2014.
  26. ^ "Second US LCS to arrive in Asia end of 2014]". 10 September 2014. Retrieved 30 December 2014.
  27. ^ Osborn, Kris (13 November 2014). "Fort Worth First LCS to Deploy with Drone Aircraft". Monster. Retrieved 16 November 2014.
  28. ^ "USS Fort Worth Commences 16-Month Rotational Deployment to Western Pacific". Navy News Service. 17 November 2014. Retrieved 30 December 2014.
  29. ^ LaGrone, Sam (4 December 2014). "USS Fort Worth LCS Chops to 7th Fleet". Retrieved 30 December 2014.
  30. ^ Hlad, Jennifer (13 November 2014). "Littoral combat ship readies for Pacific deployment, the Navy's longest in decades". Stars and Retrieved 30 December 2014.
  31. ^ "Second San Diego-Based Navy Ship Joins In Recovery Effort For Air Asia Jet". KPBS. 30 December 2014. Retrieved 30 December 2014.
  32. ^ LaGrone, Sam (30 December 2014). "U.S. Destroyer Sampson On Station for Airliner Search, Fort Worth LCS Being Made Ready". Retrieved 31 December 2014.
  33. ^ USS Fort Worth Joins USS Sampson in AirAsia Search Effort -, 2 January 2015
  34. ^ USS Sampson and USS Fort Worth Detach From AirAsia Search -, 15 January 2015
  35. ^ Korte, Gregory (13 May 2015). "China, U.S. head toward face-off in South China Sea". USA TODAY. Retrieved 13 May 2015.
  36. ^ "Littoral Combat Ship USS Fort Worth (LCS 3) Completes South China Sea Patrol". 14 May 2015. Retrieved 14 May 2015.
  37. ^ "Littoral Combat Ship USS Fort Worth Sidelined in Singapore with Propulsion System Damage". USNI News. Retrieved 23 January 2016.
  38. ^ "Navy fires Fort Worth commander amid investigation into engine damage". Navy Times. Retrieved 4 April 2016.
  39. ^ Capaccio, Anthony (7 April 2016). "Damage Extensive for Crippled U.S. Littoral Ship in Singapore". Bloomberg L.P. Retrieved 9 April 2016.
  40. ^ "USS Fort Worth Slated for Gas Turbine Transit, Repair Period in San Diego". U.S. Pacific Fleet Public Affairs. Retrieved 29 April 2016.
  41. ^ Cavas, Christopher P. (22 July 2016). "LCS Fort Worth's Return Journey Brightens". DefenseNews. Retrieved 22 August 2016.

External links[edit]