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Watch: USS Cleveland Hits Tug During Side-Launch

Screenshot via Youtube

Watch: USS Cleveland Hits Tug During Side-Launch

Mike Schuler
Total Views: 10917
April 20, 2023

The launch of the latest Freedom-variant Littoral Combat Ship (LCS), the USS Cleveland (LCS 31), encountered a minor mishap last weekend when the vessel collided with a tugboat during its sidewash-launch.

The incident took place at the Fincantieri Marinette Marine shipyard in Marinette, Wisconsin, where the Freedom-variant LCS are built.

Video of the incident is below:

According to a statement from the U.S. Navy, during the launch “unintentional contact” was made between the ship and a supporting tug. Thankfully, no personnel were injured, but there was minor damage to the USS Cleveland. The affected area was above the waterline, so no flooding occurred.

A Navy spokesperson attributed the tugboat’s proximity to the ship to a “miscommunication.” Both the Navy and the shipbuilder are investigating the cause of the incident.

Coincidentally, the event marked the final side-launch at Fincantieri Marinette Marine, as all subsequent ships are slated to be launched using a shiplift system.

The USS Cleveland is the 16th and final Freedom-variant LCS, and the fourth ship to be named in honor of Cleveland, Ohio. The LCS class comprises two variants, Freedom and Independence, which are designed and built by two separate industry teams. Lockheed Martin leads the Freedom variant team (for the odd-numbered hulls, e.g. LCS 1) and oversees the steel monohull design construction at Fincantieri Marinette Marine Corporation’s shipyard.

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