The U.S. Navy accepted delivery of two Littoral Combat Ships (LCSs), the future USS Sioux City (LCS 11) and USS Wichita (LCS 13), during a ceremony at the Fincantieri Marinette Marine shipyard on August 22.
Sioux City and Wichita, respectively, are the 14th and 15th Littoral Combat Ships (LCSs) to be delivered to the Navy and the sixth and seventh of the Freedom variant to join the fleet.
These deliveries mark the official transfer of the ships from the shipbuilder, part of a Lockheed Martin-led team, to the U.S. Navy.
It is the final milestone prior to commissioning. Both ships will be commissioned later this year, Sioux City in Annapolis, Maryland, and Wichita in Jacksonville, Florida.
(See the Future USS Wichita (LCS 13) in Action. Courtesy of RMS Videography and Vimeo.)
LCS 11 is the sixth Freedom-variant LCS designed and built by the Lockheed Martin-led industry team and will be commissioned at the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland, on Nov. 17. LCS 11 will be the first combat ship ever commissioned at the Naval Academy.
LCS 13 is the seventh Freedom-variant LCS designed and built by the Lockheed Martin-led industry team, and will be commissioned this winter.
Regarding the LCS deliveries, Captain Mike Taylor, LCS program manager, said, “The future USS Sioux City is a remarkable ship which will bring tremendous capability to the Fleet.
“I am excited to join with her crew and celebrate her upcoming commissioning at the home of the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis.”
“Today also marks a significant milestone in the life of the future USS Wichita, an exceptional ship which will conduct operations around the globe,” he said.
“I look forward to seeing Wichita join her sister ships this winter.”
Capt. Shawn Johnston, commander, LCS Squadron Two, welcomed the ships to the fleet, saying, “The future USS Sioux City is a welcome addition to the East Coast Surface Warfare Division.”
“Both her Blue and Gold crews are ready to put this ship though her paces and prepare the ship to deploy.”
“The future USS Wichita is the first East Coast Mine Warfare Division ship,” he said.
“She will have a chance to test some of the latest and greatest mine warfare systems after she completes her remaining combat systems trials.”
(See the Future USS Sioux City (LCS 11) in Action. Courtesy of RMS Videography and Vimeo.)
“We look forward to the day the future USS Sioux City and USS Wichita join the fleet. LCS is a highly affordable, increasingly lethal and versatile ship,” said Joe DePietro, vice president of Lockheed Martin’s Small Combatants and Ship Systems.
“LCS is a growing component in the U.S. Navy surface force, designed to fulfill critical missions around the world now and in the future.”
“Today’s important milestone was made possible by the investment and improvements made to our serial production line, which allowed us to realize our vision for a highly capable and efficient shipyard,” said Jan Allman, FMM president and CEO.
“Fincantieri Marinette Marine’s shipbuilders are proud to deliver these proven warships, and we look forward to working with Lockheed Martin and the U.S. Navy to continue building these highly capable ships for the fleet.”
With the delivery of LCS 11 and 13, Team Freedom has delivered seven Littoral Combat Ships to the U.S. Navy.
Seven ships are in various stages of production and test at Fincantieri Marinette Marine.
Lockheed Martin’s Freedom-variant LCS is a highly maneuverable, lethal and adaptable ship, designed to support focused-missions in the areas of mine countermeasures, anti-submarine warfare and surface warfare.
The Freedom-variant LCS integrates new technology and capability to affordably support current and future mission capability from deep water to the littorals.
(Learn More. Acceptance Trials for Littoral Combat Ships culminate years of production work. It’s a huge milestone for the warship where everything from fuel systems to radars are tested. Courtesy of Lockheed Martin and YouTube. Posted on Jun 25, 2018.)
Several additional Freedom variant ships are under construction at Fincantieri Marinette Marine.
- The future USS Billings (LCS 15) is preparing for trials in spring 2019.
- The future USS Indianapolis (LCS 17) was christened/launched in April.
- The future USS St. Louis (LCS 19) is scheduled for christening and launch in the fall.
- The future USS Minneapolis-Saint Paul (LCS 21) is preparing for launch and christening in spring of 2019, while the future USS Cooperstown (LCS 23)’s keel was laid earlier this month and is undergoing construction in the shipyard’s erection bays.
- The future USS Marinette (LCS 25) started fabrication in February, while the future USS Nantucket (LCS 27) is scheduled to begin fabrication in the fall.