US Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus announced that the next Freedom-variant littoral combat ship will be named USS Wichita (LCS 13) during a naming ceremony at Wichita City Hall.
The selection of Wichita honors Kansas’ largest city and will be the third ship to bear the name. The first Wichita was commissioned right before the start of World War II. It had a long history of service which included patrolling in Hampton Roads and the Caribbean; conducting exercises in Guantanamo, Hampton Roads and Culebra, Puerto Rico; it also earned 13 Battle Stars during the war for performing such missions as providing surface and air protection for minesweepers off the coast of Okinawa. The second Wichita commissioned in 1969, earned four Battle Stars for supporting combat ships and conducting replenishment voyages off the coast of Vietnam.
A fast, agile surface combatant, the LCS provides the required warfighting capabilities and operational flexibility to execute a variety of missions in areas such as mine warfare, anti-submarine warfare and surface warfare.
Wichita will be built with modular design incorporating mission packages that can be changed out quickly as combat needs change in a region. These mission packages are supported by detachments that deploy both manned and unmanned vehicles, and sensors in support of mine, undersea, and surface warfare missions.
The ship will be 388 feet long and capable of traveling at speeds in excess of 40 knots. The construction will be led by a Lockheed Martin industry team in Marinette, Wisconsin.
Image: US Navy