The U.S. Navy’s newest Freedom-variant littoral combat ship (LCS), the future USS Sioux City (LCS 11) has arrived in Annapolis, Maryland on Nov. 13 in advance of the ship’s commissioning ceremony.
Sioux City, the first ship named after the fourth-largest city in Iowa, will be commissioned at the U.S. Naval Academy Nov. 17. LCS 11 will be the first combat ship ever commissioned at the Naval Academy.
The ship’s sponsor is Mary Winnefeld, the wife of the former vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Adm. James “Sandy” Winnefeld.
The Navy took delivery of the Sioux City from Lockheed Martin and Fincantieri Marinette Marine (FMM) on Aug. 22 along with her sister ship, the future USS Wichita (LCS 13). Sioux City had completed her Acceptance Trials in Lake Michigan this summer.
LCS 11 is the sixth Freedom-variant LCS designed and built by the Lockheed Martin-led industry team. LCS 11 and LCS 13 will be homeported at Naval Station Mayport, Florida, alongside sister ships USS Milwaukee (LCS 5), USS Detroit (LCS 7) and USS Little Rock (LCS 9).
LCS is a modular, reconfigurable ship designed to meet validated fleet requirements for surface warfare, anti-submarine warfare and mine countermeasures missions in the littoral region. A mission package is embarked on each LCS that provides the primary mission systems in one of these warfare areas. Using an open architecture design, modular weapons, sensor systems and a variety of manned and unmanned vehicles to gain, sustain and exploit littoral maritime supremacy, LCS provides U.S. joint force access to critical theaters.
The LCS class consists of the Freedom variant and Independence variant, designed and built by two industry teams. The Freedom variant team is led by Lockheed Martin (for the odd-numbered hulls, e.g., LCS 1). The Independence variant team is led by Austal USA (for LCS 6 and follow-on even-numbered hulls). Twenty-nine LCSs have been awarded to date, with 15 delivered to the Navy, 11 in various stages of construction and three in pre-production states.