The U.S. Navy held a keel laying and authentication ceremony for the future littoral combat ship USS Marinette (LCS 25) in Marinette, Wisconsin March 27. The keel laying symbolically recognizes the joining of the ship’s components and the ceremonial beginning of the ship.
Unique among combat ships, LCS is designed to serve a variety of missions today, and is easily adapted to serve future and evolving missions tomorrow.
- It is flexible — with 40 percent of the hull easily reconfigurable, LCS is designed to serve today’s missions and can be outfitted with additional and evolved capabilities, including over-the-horizon missiles, and advanced electronic warfare systems and radars.
- It is lethal — standard equipped with Rolling Airframe Missiles (RAM) and a Mark 110 gun, capable of firing 220 rounds per minute.
- It is fast — capable of speeds in excess of 40 knots.
- It is automated — with the most efficient staffing of any combat ship.
“LCS brings something really special to the Navy. There is no other class of ship that delivers this level of flexibility for future missions. LCS is minimally manned, so the U.S. Navy can efficiently project presence around the world. It really is a remarkable ship, and our team is so proud to begin construction on the future USS Marinette for the Navy.”
Joe DePietro, Lockheed Martin vice president and general manager of Small Combatants and Ship Systems
Marinette will be the first commissioned ship and second overall in U.S. naval service to be named after the city along the Menominee River. The initial Marinette in Navy service was a Nantick-class large harbor tug (YTB-791), also built in Marinette and in active service for nearly four decades (1967-2005). LCS 25 is named to recognize the town’s significant contributions to Navy shipbuilding. Fincantieri Marinette Marine began operations in 1942 to provide U.S. ships for World War II. Marinette is the birthplace of Lockheed Martin’s Freedom-variant LCS, which Lockheed Martin and Fincantieri Marinette Marine have partnered to produce for more than 16 years. Each day, more than 1,500 residents of Marinette, Wisconsin and Menominee, Michigan, enter the Fincantieri Marinette Marine shipyard to build LCS.
The LCS class consists of two variants, the Freedom variant and the Independence variant, designed and built by two industry teams. This ship is being built by an industry team led by Lockheed Martin at Fincantieri Marinette Marine. The Lockheed Martin-led team builds the odd-numbered hulls. The Independence variant team is led by Austal USA, in Mobile, Alabama, (for LCS 6 and subsequent even-numbered hulls).
LCS 25 will be the 13th Freedom-variant LCS, and will join a class of more than 30 ships. She is one of seven ships in various stages of construction and test at the Fincantieri Marinette Marine shipyard. The littoral combat ship is now the second-largest surface ship class in the U.S. Navy. In 2018, five LCSs were delivered to the fleet, and four are planned for delivery in 2019 — a pace not seen since the 1990s.