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,” he added.
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.
“Littoral combat ships are designed to operate in more areas than a typical Navy ship, including shallow water near the coastline. Consequently, LCS 21 is going to bring the name ‘Minneapolis-Saint Paul’ all around the globe,” said the ship’s sponsor and Northfield, Minnesota native Deputy Undersecretary of the Navy Jodi Greene.
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).
“We take great pride in building the future USS Minneapolis-Saint Paul and all of the freedom variant ships. LCS 21 and her sister ships will soon represent the interests of the United States where and when needed,” said Jan Allman, Fincantieri Marinette Marine President and CEO.
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.
Fincantieri is the leading western shipbuilder with a rich history dating back more than 230 years, and a track record of building more than 7,000 ships. Fincantieri Marine Group is the American subsidiary of Fincantieri, and operates three Great Lakes Shipyards: Fincantieri Marinette Marine, Fincantieri Bay Shipbuilding, and Fincantieri ACE Marine. Fincantieri Marine Group’s more than 2,100 steelworkers, craftsman, engineers and technicians in the United States specialize in the design, construction and maintenance of merchant ships and government vessels, including for the United States Navy and Coast Guard.
Gibbs & Cox, the nation's leading independent maritime solutions firm specializing in naval architecture, marine engineering and design, is headquartered in Arlington, Virginia. Founded in 1929, the company has provided designs for nearly 80 percent of the current U.S. Navy surface combatant fleet; approaching 7,000 naval and commercial ships have been built to Gibbs & Cox designs.