Navy's newest warship learns from past

USS Fort Worth is 3rd Littoral Combat Ship

SAN DIEGO - Crews are putting the finishing touches on San Diego's newest Navy warship, and 10News learned the vessel is equipped with cutting-edge technology that is changing the future of the military.

Stretched on blocks in a dry dock at Naval Base San Diego, the littoral combat ship USS Fort Worth glistens under a new paint scheme.

"We did a lot of research but went back to the camouflage schemes of the ships in World War II," said Cmdr. Hank Kim, the ship's commanding officer.

There are other changes as well. The USS Fort Worth is 12 feet longer than the first LCS USS Freedom.

"It will be more stable in the water and the extra length enables us to carry more fuel; we literally captured hundreds of lessons learned from Freedom," Kim said.

USS Freedom was the first LCS ship and came under fire for cost, design flaws and other issues. The Navy, however, is committed to the program because of the way the ship is designed to operate.

"We have a 13-and-a-half foot draft," Kim said. "That gets us into places other larger ships can't, plus we have the power to get out quickly if we have to."

The ship is literally a floating computer, as virtually every system is linked. The system is necessary because there are only 40 core crew members to operate it.

The USS Fort Worth is due out of dry dock and back on the water next week.


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