Lockheed Martin-led industry team launched the U.S. Navy’s 23rd Littoral Combat Ship (LCS), the future USS Cooperstown (LCS 23), in a ceremony held at Fincantieri Marinette Marine (FMM) shipyard in Marinette, Wisconsin on Jan. 19.
LCS 23 is the first vessel named for Cooperstown. Her name honors the veterans who are members of the National Baseball Hall of Fame located in the namesake city. These 64 men served in conflicts ranging from the Civil War through the Korean War.
The keel of the vessel, which is the 11th Freedom-variant LCS, was laid at the FMM shipyard on Aug. 14, 2018.
The LCS is a high speed, agile, shallow draft, mission-focused surface combatant of the U.S. Navy designed for operations in the littoral environment, yet fully capable of open ocean operations. It is a modular, reconfigurable ship designed to meet validated fleet requirements for anti-surface warfare (ASuW), anti-submarine warfare (ASW) and mine countermeasures (MCM) missions.
The LCS class consists of two variants, the Freedom-variant, and the Independence-variant, designed and built by two industry teams. The Freedom-variant team is led by Lockheed Martin (for the odd-numbered hulls). The Independence-variant team is led by Austal USA (for LCS 6 and the subsequent even-numbered hulls).
The Freedom-variant LCS ships are capable of speeds in excess of 40 knots and are automated with the most efficient staffing of any combat ship. They are equipped with Rolling Airframe Missiles (RAM) and a Mark 110 gun, capable of firing 220 rounds per minute, as standard and is flexible with 40 percent of the hull easily reconfigurable, integrating capabilities like the Longbow Hellfire Missiles, 30mm guns, and manned and unmanned vehicles targeted to meet future missions.
Several more Freedom-variant ships are under construction at Fincantieri Marinette Marine Corp. in Marinette, Wisconsin. The future USS Minneapolis-Saint Paul (LCS 21) was christened in June last year. Additional ships in the production phase include the future USS Marinette (LCS 25), Nantucket (LCS 27) and Beloit (LCS 29), and Cleveland (LCS 31) in the pre-production phase.