The U.S. Navy christened its newest Freedom-variant littoral combat ship (LCS), the future USS Cooperstown (LCS 23), during a ceremony at the Fincantieri Marinette Marine (FMM) shipyard in Marinette, Wisconsin on Feb. 29.
Mrs. Alba Tull served as the ship’s sponsor. In a time-honored Navy tradition, Mrs. Tull christened the future USS Cooperstown by breaking a bottle of sparkling wine across the ship’s bow. Ms. Jane Forbes Clark, Chairman of the Board of Directors of The National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum, delivered the christening ceremony’s principal address.
LCS 23 is the 12th Freedom-variant LCS, the 23rd in the class. She is the first ship named in honor of Cooperstown, New York. Cooperstown received its name on July 25, 2015, during a ceremony at the National Baseball Hall of Fame, which is located in Cooperstown. Her name honors the veterans who are members of the Baseball Hall of Fame located in the namesake city. These 64 men served in conflicts ranging from the Civil War through the Korean War.
LCS is a modular, reconfigurable ship, designed to meet validated fleet requirements for surface warfare (SUW), anti-submarine warfare (ASW) and mine countermeasures (MCM) missions in the littoral region. 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 the U.S. joint force access to critical areas in multiple theaters.
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 in Marinette, Wisconsin, (for the odd-numbered hulls). The Independence-variant team is led by Austal USA in Mobile, Alabama, (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.