The Lockheed Martin-led industry team officially laid the keel for the U.S. Navy’s eleventh Littoral Combat Ship (LCS), the future USS Sioux City, in a ceremony held yesterday at Marinette Marine Corporation.
The industry team is building Freedom-class LCSs for the U.S. Navy, and has delivered two ships with five others under construction and one soon to begin construction.
In keeping with a time-honored tradition, ship sponsor Mrs. Mary Winnefeld authenticated the keel block by having her initials welded.
Mrs. Winnefeld said: “It’s been a real privilege to meet the great Americans who are building this versatile ship, and I thank them in advance for their quality work. I look forward to meeting her crew soon, being part of her family, and bringing our ship to life when she’s commissioned.”
The Lockheed Martin-led LCS team includes ship builder Marinette Marine Corporation, a Fincantieri company, naval architect Gibbs & Cox, as well as nearly 900 suppliers in 43 states, including approximately 30 small businesses in Wisconsin and Michigan.
The nation’s first LCS, USS Freedom, completed her deployment to Southeast Asia, during which she participated in multiple international maritime exercises, conducted patrols in the South China Sea and provided disaster relief for Operation Damayan. As USS Freedom proved, the ship class is addressing the Navy’s need for an affordable, highly-networked and modular ship unlike any other in the world.
The platform is designed and outfitted with mission systems to conduct a variety of missions including anti-surface, mine and submarine warfare. The next LCS to deploy will be the Freedom-class USS Fort Worth (LCS 3) in 2014.
Press Release, February 20, 2014; Image: Lockheed Martin