Freedom fades from gray to black

The gray hull of littoral combat ship Freedom is giving way to exhaust. // U.S. Navy

The gray hull of littoral combat ship Freedom is giving way to exhaust. // U.S. Navy

What’s wrong with this picture?

Freedom, the first littoral combat ship, has been in service for only two and a half years. But it’s lost that new ship shine.  Exhaust blackens the superstructure and the hull in this photo, taken June 7 while Freedom landed a helicopter as part of a joint maritime exercise. More exhaust is visible spewing from the stack.

“The exhaust marks can be scrubbed off, but the closer you get to the orifice, the less it is soot and more it is actual burnt on charring,” a user named spek commented on the blog, Cdr Salamander. (Spek didn’t identify himself or say how he knew this.) “A suggestion was made to paint a black section of the hull to correspond with the marks, but it never went anywhere.”

But the ship’s builder, Lockheed Martin, saw the same photo differently. They posted this U.S. Navy photo, along with a few others from the day, under the headline, “Camera Smiles on LCS, MH-60R Helicopter.”




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  1. Not to worry. In 2 more months, the replacement for LCS-1 will be underway in Lake Michigan for sea trials: LCS-3 USS FORT WORTH will depart the GReat Lakes just before the winter ice pack sets in. And within the next 18 months or so, LCS 3 will have have completed her various yard periods in NORVA and SDIEGO, and she will then stand up, and be ready to replace the old LCS-1, which can then be retired after proudly serving our country for over a 50th of a century.

  2. I think in the old days, this problem was dealt with by making the stacks higher. But the Navy may not want to do that with the LCS if that would increase it’s radar signature. Of course, that’s speculation. If I knew, I couldn’t tell you.

  3. back when I was in we took pride in how our ship looked-I guess it’s not politically correct to have pride in your ship anymore thanks to adm Roughead

  4. I’m going to make an educated guess and say the reason why the exhaust is down so low is because of top hamper…There’s already a lot of the ship out of the water, and if her center of gravity is too high she’d be in peril from rolling.

  5. Little Crappy Ship just keeps getting worse and worse…

    The new CNO can and should stop this insanity. No more LCS.

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