(Source: Lockheed Martin)
12:00 AM, September 19, 2008
>Accepted by the US Navy on Sept. 18, the future USS Freedom is the first Littoral Combat Ship to enter service. It will be commissioned in November. (US Navy photo)MARINETTE, Wis. --- The Lockheed Martin led industry team delivered the nation's first Littoral Combat Ship, Freedom (LCS 1), to the U.S. Navy today. The delivery milestone marks the Navy's preliminary acceptance of LCS 1, clearing the way for the ship's crew to prepare her for commissioning and service.>> "This is a truly exciting day for the Navy. Today marks a critical milestone in fulfilling the need and realizing the vision we began just a few years ago," Capt. James Murdoch, the LCS Program Manager said. "Despite our challenges, the Navy and industry have continued to press on to build and deliver the first ship of a unique class, a ship class that will give our Nation our own asymmetric advantages against future maritime threats.">> "I am extremely proud of all the men and women of Lockheed Martin, Marinette Marine, Gibbs & Cox and Bollinger whose hard work has successfully delivered Freedom to the fleet," said Dan Schultz, vice president and general manager of Lockheed Martin's Maritime Security & Ship Systems business. "Our team is prepared to build more of these agile warships to give the Navy unsurpassed capabilities and dominance in the littorals.">> The 378-foot Freedom -- a survivable, semi-planing steel monohull -- will help the Navy defeat growing threats and provide access and dominance in the littoral battlespace. Reaching speeds over 40 knots and displacing 3,000 metric tons, Freedom is a fast, maneuverable and networked surface combatant with operational flexibility to execute focused missions, such as mine warfare, anti-submarine warfare, surface warfare and the potential for a wide range of additional missions including maritime interdiction and humanitarian/disaster relief.
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