The laying of the keel celebrates an important milestone in the life of the future USS Cleveland (LCS 31) and marks a significant event for the construction of the nation’s 31st Littoral Combat Ship (LCS). The USS Cleveland will be the fourth commissioned ship in naval service, since World War I, named after Cleveland, the second-largest city in Ohio and home to countless Navy and Marine Corps veterans. With the city’s deep ties to maritime service since the turn of the 20th century, LCS 31 will honor Cleveland’s longstanding naval history.
USS Cleveland (LCS-31) will be a Freedom-class littoral combat ship of the United States Navy. She will be the fourth commissioned ship in naval service named after Cleveland, the second-largest city in Ohio. Marinette Marine was awarded the contract to build the ship on 15 January 2019. Fincantieri operates in the United States through its subsidiary Fincantieri Marine Group (FMG). This company, which serves commercial and government customers in the U.S., including the U.S. Navy and Coast Guard, has three shipyards located in the Great Lakes.
The ship is a semiplaning steel monohull with an aluminum superstructure. It is 377 ft (115 m) in length, displaces 3,500 metric tons (3,400 long tons), and can achieve 47 kn (87 km/h; 54 mph). The design incorporates a large, reconfigurable seaframe to allow rapidly interchangeable mission modules, a flight deck with integrated helicopter launch, recovery and handling system, and the capability to launch and recover boats from both the stern and side. The flight deck is one and a half times larger than that of a standard surface ship.
The fore deck has a modular weapons zone which can be used for a 57 mm gun turret or missile launcher. A Rolling Airframe Missile launcher is mounted above the hangar for short-range defense against aircraft and cruise missiles, and .50-caliber gun mounts are provided topside. The Fleet-class unmanned surface vessel is designed for operations from Freedom-variant ships. The Freedom-class ships will be equipped with the TRS-4D naval radar. The TRS-4D is an AESA radar built by Airbus Defense and Space that is similar to the one on German F125-class frigates.