The Lockheed Martin-led shipbuilding team launched Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) 21, the future USS Minneapolis-Saint Paul into the Menominee River at the Fincantieri Marinette Marine Shipyard. Ship sponsor Jodi J. Greene, Deputy Under Secretary of the U.S. Navy for Policy, christened LCS 21 just prior to launch. “LCS is the second largest ship class in the U.S. Navy, and Lockheed Martin is proud to deliver capability and added force projection with each additional hull,” said Joe DePietro, Lockheed Martin vice president and general manager of Small Combatants and Ship Systems. “LCS is ready to serve a variety of missions, and our team is working with the Navy to add lethality and survivability enhancements to meet the missions sailors will face in the future.”
Unique among combat ships, LCS is designed to complete close-to-shore missions and is a growing and relevant part of the Navy’s fleet.
It is flexible—with 40 percent of the hull easily reconfigurable, LCS can be modified to integrate capabilities including over-the-horizon missiles, advanced electronic warfare systems and decoys, and in the future, vertical launching systems or laser weapon systems.
It is fast—capable of speeds in excess of 40 knots.
It is automated—with the most efficient staffing of any combat ship.
It is lethal—standard equipped with Rolling Airframe Missiles (RAM) and a Mark 110 gun, capable of firing 220 rounds per minute.
Lockheed Martin is in full-rate production and has delivered eight ships to the U.S. Navy. There are eight ships in various stages of production and test. This year, Lockheed Martin and Fincantieri Marinette Marine will begin construction on two ships, deliver two ships, complete sea trials for two ships and see three ships commissioned (LCS 13, 15 and 17). Headquartered in Bethesda, Maryland, Lockheed Martin is a global security and aerospace company that employs approximately 100,000 people worldwide and is principally engaged in the research, design, development, manufacture, integration and sustainment of advanced technology systems, products and services. This year the company received three Edison Awards for ground-breaking innovations in autonomy, satellite technology and directed energy.
LCS is a highly maneuverable, lethal and adaptable ship designed to support focused mine countermeasures, anti-submarine warfare and surface warfare missions. The Freedom-variant LCS integrates new technology and capability to affordably support current and future mission capability from deep water to the littorals. The LCS class consists of two variants, the Freedom variant and the Independence variant, designed and built by two industry teams. The Lockheed Martin-led team builds the odd-numbered hulls. The Independence variant team is led by Austal USA, Mobile, Alabama. The Freedom-variant Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) is a resilient flexible warship, designed from the keel up to affordably take on new capabilities – from the most advanced sensors, to the latest missiles, to cutting-edge cyber systems.