America’s 17 Independence Class Ships Are Surveillance Frigates

In all the debate over the Navy’s battered and largely derided “Littoral Combat Ship” concept, the Independence Class littoral combat ship has been both misnamed and consistently misunderstood. The Independence Class trimaran is better described as a surveillance frigate capable of boosting America’s craftiness at sea. 

While the old-school naval warfare planners from America’s cruiser/destroyer community have tied themselves up in knots to make the aluminum trimaran a conventional “trade broadsides with the enemy” surface warfighter, the electronic lethality and intelligence-gathering potential of these flexible, commodious and fast vessels have been consistently overlooked. 

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