The USS Freedom – the first of the littoral combat ship class built at Fincantieri Marinette Marine – was decommissioned during a ceremony Wednesday, just 13 years after it went into service. Littoral combat ships were designed for shallow-water service, but were criticized for mechanical issues, problems with the supposedly interchangeable mission packages, lack of firepower and armor, and cost. Previously, the USS Independence – another LCS built in Alabama with a different design – was also decommissioned. After this decommissioning, 21 LCS remain in the fleet, although others are also scheduled to be retired. The Navy is moving away the LCS platform to more heavily armored frigates. Fincantieri Marinette Marine is also building those.
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