The Lockheed Martin has laid the keel for the US Navy's thirteenth Littoral Combat Ship (LCS), USS Wichita in a ceremony held at Marinette Marine Corporation Monday.
The Lockheed Martin-led LCS team includes ship builder Marinette Marine Corporation, a Fincantieri company, naval architect Gibbs & Cox, as well as nearly 900 suppliers in 43 states.
Wichita is a flexible Freedom-variant LCS that will be designed and outfitted with mission systems to conduct a variety of missions including anti-surface warfare, mine countermeasures and submarine warfare.
USS Fort Worth (LCS 3) is currently deployed for 16 months to Southeast Asia. These two deployments demonstrate how the ship class is addressing the U.S. Navy's need for an affordable, highly-networked and modular ship unlike any other in the world.
"This ship class, and the industry team behind it, has shown it can adapt to meet the Navy's most challenging missions and provide a powerful, modular platform," said Joe North, vice president of Littoral Ships and Systems at Lockheed Martin.
"We have leveraged best practices and incorporated improvements based on sailors' feedback to ensure the fleet is prepared and empowered to fight, operate and support the ship in the littorals and open seas worldwide", Joe North added.
"The LCS 13, Wichita, is a tangible measure of the collaboration and strength within this industry team," said Jan Allman, president and chief executive officer of Marinette Marine Corporation.