U.S. Navy Commissions Newest Littoral Combat Ship USS Indianapolis

The U.S. Navy commissioned its newest Freedom-variant littoral combat ship, USS Indianapolis (LCS 17), during a ceremony on Saturday, Oct. 26, in Burns Harbor, Indiana.

The USS Indianapolis honors Indiana’s state capital and largest city. It is the fourth ship to bear the name.

Lisa W. Hershman delivered the commissioning ceremony’s principal address. Jill Donnelly, the wife of former U.S. Sen. Joe Donnelly of Indiana, is the ship’s sponsor. The ceremony was highlighted by a time-honored Navy tradition when Mrs. Donnelly gave the first order to “man our ship and bring her to life!”

The USS Indianapolis, a Freedom-variant littoral combat ship (LCS) is a fast, agile, focused-mission platform designed for operation in near-shore environments, as well as open-ocean operation. It is designed to defeat asymmetric “anti-access” threats such as mines, quiet diesel submarines and fast surface craft.

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 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 (for the odd-numbered hulls). The Independence-variant team is led by Austal USA (for LCS 6 and the subsequent even-numbered hulls).

There are seven ships in various stages of production and test at Fincantieri Marinette Marine in Wisconsin, where the Freedom-variant LCS is built. The next Freedom-variant in the class is LCS 19, the future USS St, Louis, which is on track to begin sea trials later this year.

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