The Lockheed Martin-led team in charge of constructing the Freedom-variant littoral combat ships held a keel-laying for the future USS Minneapolis-Saint Paul, the US Navy’s 21st LCS.
The ceremony was held at Fincantieri Marinette Marine in Marinette, Wisconsin, on February 22.
Ship sponsor Jodi Greene completed the time-honored tradition and authenticated the keel by welding her initials onto a steel plate that will be placed in the hull of the ship.
“It is a tremendous honor to serve as the sponsor of the future USS Minneapolis-Saint Paul,” Greene said. “I look forward to supporting the ship and its crew throughout the building process and the life of the ship. I know the people of Minneapolis and Saint Paul will proudly support her when she is commissioned and officially enters the Navy fleet.”
The Lockheed Martin and Fincantieri Marinette Marine team has delivered five ships to the US Navy to date. The future USS Minneapolis-Saint Paul is one of eight ships in various stages of construction at Fincantieri Marinette Marine, with one more in long-lead production.
LCS 21 will be the second vessel named for the Twin Cities. SSN-708, a Los Angeles-class submarine, served as the first USS Minneapolis-Saint Paul and was decommissioned in 2008.