Lockheed Martin and Fincantieri Marinette Marine (FMM) delivered two littoral combat ships, the future USS Sioux City (LCS 11) and the future USS Wichita (LCS 13), to the U.S. Navy, on Aug. 22.
The future USS Sioux City completed 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 and will be commissioned at the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland, on Nov. 17. LCS 11 will be the first combat ship ever commissioned at the Naval Academy.
LCS 13 is the seventh Freedom-variant LCS designed and built by the Lockheed Martin-led industry team, and will be commissioned this winter.
“We look forward to the day the future USS Sioux City and USS Wichita join the fleet. LCS is a highly affordable, increasingly lethal and versatile ship,” said Joe DePietro, vice president of Lockheed Martin’s Small Combatants and Ship Systems. “LCS is a growing component in the U.S. Navy surface force, designed to fulfill critical missions around the world now and in the future.”
LCS 11 and LCS 13 will be homeported at Naval Station Mayport, Florida, alongside USS Milwaukee (LCS 5), USS Detroit (LCS 7) and USS Little Rock (LCS 9).
“Today’s important milestone was made possible by the investment and improvements made to our serial production line, which allowed us to realize our vision for a highly capable and efficient shipyard,” said Jan Allman, FMM president and CEO. “Fincantieri Marinette Marine’s shipbuilders are proud to deliver these proven warships, and we look forward to working with Lockheed Martin and the U.S. Navy to continue building these highly capable ships for the fleet.”
With the delivery of LCS 11 and 13, Team Freedom has delivered seven Littoral Combat Ships to the U.S. Navy.
Several additional Freedom variant ships are under construction at Fincantieri Marinette Marine. The future USS Billings (LCS 15) is preparing for trials in spring 2019. The future USS Indianapolis (LCS 17) was christened/launched in April. The future USS St. Louis (LCS 19) is scheduled for christening and launch in the fall. The future USS Minneapolis-Saint Paul (LCS 21) is preparing for launch and christening in spring of 2019, while the future USS Cooperstown (LCS 23)’s keel was laid earlier this month and is undergoing construction in the shipyard’s erection bays. The future USS Marinette (LCS 25) started fabrication in February, while the future USS Nantucket (LCS 27) is scheduled to begin fabrication in the fall.
Lockheed Martin’s Freedom-variant LCS is a highly maneuverable, lethal and adaptable ship, designed to support focused-missions in the areas of mine countermeasures, anti-submarine warfare and surface warfare. The Freedom-variant LCS integrates new technology and capability to affordably support current and future mission capability from deep water to the littorals.
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. An interchangeable mission package is embarked on each LCS and 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.