This pile of seemingly innocuous bags is actually a ton or more of cocaine (seven bales weighing 72 kilos, according to the U.S. Navy), captured by the USS Freedom. It's the second big drug bust for the Lockheed Martin Littoral Combat Ship, which busted drug runners only ten days prior to this find.
The ship worked with its resident MH-60S helicopter to conduct the interception. Freedom is equipped with a Surface Warfare Mission Package and a Maritime Security Cooperation package in addition to the embarked Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron. “This is a perfect demonstration of what the LCS was designed for,” said Paul Lemmo, Lockheed Martin’s vice president of business development. The ship’s combination of physical empty space and an open architecture for software creates the opportunity to configure the ship to meet the needs of a particular mission—in this case, drug trafficking interdiction.