The US Navy has christened its newest Freedom-variant littoral combat ship (LCS), the future USS Cooperstown (LCS 23).
The ceremony took place in Marinette, Wisconsin, on February 29. LCS 23 is said to be the first ship named in honor of Cooperstown, New York.
Prior to the christening, the Lockheed Martin-led team launched the ship into the water on January 19. LCS 23 is slated to begin sea trials later this year.
LCS is a modular, reconfigurable ship, designed to meet validated fleet requirements for surface warfare (SUW), anti-submarine warfare (ASW) and mine countermeasures (MCM) missions in the littoral region. 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 the U.S. joint force access to critical areas in multiple theaters.
The LCS class consists of two variants, the Freedom variant and the Independence variant, designed and built by two industry teams. The Freedom-variant team is led by Lockheed Martin in Marinette, Wisconsin, (for the odd-numbered hulls). The Independence-variant team is led by Austal USA in Mobile, Alabama, (for LCS 6 and the subsequent even-numbered hulls).
To date, four Freedom-variant LCS have deployed to support US Navy presence and peacekeeping missions. In the latest of these deployments, USS Little Rock (LCS 9) deployed in February 2020 to support operations in the U.S. Southern Command Area of Responsibility.