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06:22 AM, January 13, 2019
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LCS 13 Wichita (Image: Lockheed Martin)

The United States Navy commissioned USS Wichita (LCS 13) – the nation's seventh Freedom-variant Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) at Naval Station Mayport.

The LCS is designed to complete close-to-shore missions and is a growing and relevant part of the Navy's fleet.

The LCS is capable of speeds in excess of 40 knots and is equipped with Rolling Airframe Missiles (RAM) and a Mark 110 gun, capable of firing 220 rounds per minute.

It is flexible with 40 percent of the hull easily reconfigurable, integrating capabilities like the Longbow Hellfire Missiles, 30mm guns, and manned and unmanned vehicles targeted to meet today's and tomorrow's missions, Lockheed Martin said in a statement Saturday.

The LCS is designed to support focused mine countermeasures, anti-submarine warfare and surface warfare missions. It is enabled with the COMBATSS-21 Combat Management System, built from the Aegis Common Source Library, which drives commonality among the fleet. The Freedom-variant LCS integrates new technology and capability to affordably support current and future mission capability from deep water to the littorals.

"People ask me about Littoral Combat Ship. Is it a new cruiser or destroyer? Actually it's neither. It's an entirely new category of warship. The LCS packs quite a hefty punch for such a small package," LCS 13's Commanding Officer, Commander Nathan Rowan.

There are seven ships in various stages of production and test at Fincantieri Marinette Marine in Wisconsin, where the Freedom-variant LCS is built. The next Freedom-variant in the class is LCS 15, the future USS Billings, slated for delivery this spring.

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