A Lockheed Martin-led team launched the United States Navy’s seventh Littoral Combat Ship (LCS), the future USS Detroit, into the Menominee River this weekend at the Marinette Marine Corporation (MMC) shipyard.
The ship’s sponsor, Mrs. Barbara Levin, christened Detroit with the traditional smashing of a champagne bottle across the ship’s bow just prior to the launch.
“It is a privilege to serve as the sponsor of the future USS Detroit and to participate in the major milestones along the way to her assuming her place as part of the great U.S. Navy fleet”, said Mrs. Levin. I also look forward to an ongoing relationship with her courageous crews and their families throughout the ship’s lifetime.”
Following christening and launch, Detroit will continue to undergo outfitting and testing before delivery to the Navy in 2015.
“It is an honor to continue supporting the U.S. Navy with these capable and flexible warships,” said Dale P. Bennett, executive vice president of Lockheed Martin’s Mission Systems and Training business. “The Lockheed Martin-led team’s LCS design is lethal, survivable, and affordable.These ships will help the Navy achieve its goal to increase forward presence, and can be upgraded or modified quickly to meet future missions.”
The U.S. Navy awarded the contract to construct Detroit in March 2011. The ship is one of five LCS currently under construction at Marinette Marine.
On behalf of Marinette Marine, we are incredibly proud to build these ships for the U.S. Navy,” said Jan Allman, MMC president and CEO. “We continue to streamline our processes and leverage the craftsmanship and skills of our employees in producing these high quality vessels for our warfighters.”
The Lockheed Martin-led industry team is building Freedom-variant ships, featuring a steel monohull, and has already delivered two ships to the U.S. Navy. USS Freedom (LCS 1) completed a successful deployment to Southeast Asia in 2013. USS Fort Worth (LCS 3) will deploy to Southeast Asia in 2014. Milwaukee (LCS 5) will be delivered to the U.S. Navy in 2015. Detroit (LCS 7) was christened and launched on Oct. 18, 2014. Little Rock (LCS 9), Sioux City (LCS 11) and Wichita (LCS 13) are under construction. Billings (LCS 15) will begin construction this year.
Earlier this year, the Navy funded Indianapolis (LCS 17) and LCS 19, which is yet to be named.
In addition to Freedom-class variant, the U.S. Navy is also planning 10 Independence-class ships, featuring an aluminum trimaran hull design, being built by General Dynamics, Bath Iron Works (LCS 2 and 4) and Austal USA (LCS 6 and beyond) at the Austal USA shipyard in Mobile, Alabama So far, two of the Independence class ships have been delivered to the U.S. Navy, the USS Independence (LCS 2) in 2009 and USS Coronada (LCS 4) in September 2014.
The Navy has committed to a 52-ship LCS class.