Lockheed Martin and Fincantieri Marinette Marine (FMM) laid the keel on U.S. Navy’s 13th Freedom-class littoral combat ship, the future USS Marinette (LCS-25) in a ceremony that formally marks the beginning of a ship’s construction, March 27.
During the ceremony, the ship’s sponsor Jennifer Granholm, former governor of Michigan, had her initials welded into the ship’s keel plate.
LCS 25 will be the first U.S. Navy ship to bear the name Marinette, and is named to recognize the town’s significant contributions to Navy shipbuilding. She will be the first commissioned ship, and second overall in naval service to be named after Marinette, Wisconsin, the other being Marinette YTB-791, a Natick-class large fleet tugboat.
Fincantieri Marinette Marine began operations in 1942 to provide U.S. ships for World War II. Marinette is the birthplace of Lockheed Martin’s Freedom-variant LCS, which Lockheed Martin and Fincantieri Marinette Marine have partnered to produce for more than 16 years. Each day, more than 1,500 residents of Marinette, Wisconsin and Menominee, Michigan, enter the Fincantieri Marinette Marine shipyard to build LCS.
“We are thrilled to build the future USS Marinette. As shipbuilders, we transform flat panels of steel into warships, and feel so much pride in the craftsmanship required to do this important work. It is an honor to be able to do that for the ship named after our hometown,” said Jan Allman, president and CEO of Fincantieri Marinette Marine. “The Navy selected an incredible woman to sponsor our ship. Governor Jennifer Granholm represents a large number of our workforce coming from Michigan, and she has been an avid supporter of the LCS program since its inception.”
“LCS brings something really special to the Navy. There is no other class of ship that delivers this level of flexibility for future missions,” said Joe DePietro, vice president and general manager of Small Combatants and Ship Systems. “LCS is minimally manned, so the U.S. Navy can efficiently project presence around the world. It really is a remarkable ship, and our team is so proud to begin construction on the future USS Marinette for the Navy.”
Marinette Marine was awarded the contract to build the ship on 31 March 2016 at their shipyard in Marinette. LCS 25 will be the 13th Freedom-variant LCS, and will join a class of more than 30 ships. She is one of seven ships in various stages of construction and test at the Fincantieri Marinette Marine shipyard.