US Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus recently announced that the next Freedom-variant littoral combat ship (LCS) will be named USS St. Louis.
The future USS St. Louis, designated LCS 19, will be the seventh ship to bear the name. The first St. Louis, a sloop of war, was launched in 1828. It spent the majority of its service patrolling the coasts of the Americas to secure interests and trade. In addition, it served as the flagship for the West Indies Squadron working to suppress piracy in the Caribbean Sea, the Antilles and the Gulf of Mexico region.
The name St. Louis holds a strong naval legacy.
The LCS is designed to defeat littoral threats, and provide access and dominance in coastal waters. A fast, agile surface combatant, LCS provides war fighting capabilities and operational flexibility to execute focused missions close to the shore, such as mine warfare, anti-submarine warfare, and surface warfare.
St. Louis will be built with modular design incorporating mission packages that can be changed out quickly as combat needs demand. These mission packages are supported by detachments that deploy manned and unmanned vehicles, and sensors in support of mine, undersea and surface warfare missions.
The ship will be 388 feet long, have a waterline beam length of 58 feet and make speeds in excess of 40 knots. The construction will be led by a Lockheed Martin industry team in Marinette, Wisconsin.
Image: US Navy