The 21st Littoral Combat Ship, the future USS Minneapolis-Saint Paul, launches sideways into the Menominee River in Marinette, Wisconsin, on June 15.
"LCS is the second largest ship class in the U.S. Navy, and Lockheed Martin is proud to deliver capability and added force projection with each additional hull," said Joe DePietro, Lockheed Martin vice president and general manager of Small Combatants and Ship Systems. "LCS is ready to serve a variety of missions, and our team is working with the Navy to add lethality and survivability enhancements to meet the missions sailors will face in the future."
Unique among combat ships, LCS is designed to complete close-to-shore missions and is a growing and relevant part of the Navy's fleet.
"Littoral combat ships are designed to operate in more areas than a typical Navy ship, including shallow water near the coastline," said the ship's sponsor and Northfield, Minnesota native Deputy Undersecretary of the Navy Jodi Greene. "Consequently, LCS 21 is going to bring the name 'Minneapolis-Saint Paul' all around the globe."
A sideways launch never gets old: #MINNEAPOLIS-SAINT PAUL LCS21 was christened and launched Sat 15 June at @FincantieriUS in #Marinette WI, 11th of @LockheedMartin's #Freedom-class littoral combat ship. Sponsor is Navy Deputy Under Secretary Jodi Greene. Check that backsplash! pic.twitter.com/aLoyfLuDkH— Chris Cavas (@CavasShips) June 16, 2019
Lockheed Martin is in full-rate production and has delivered eight ships to the U.S. Navy. There are eight ships in various stages of production and test. This year, Lockheed Martin and Fincantieri Marinette Marine will begin construction on two ships, deliver two ships, complete sea trials for two ships and see three ships commissioned (LCS 13, 15 and 17).
"We take great pride in building the future USS Minneapolis-Saint Paul and all of the freedom variant ships," said Jan Allman, Fincantieri Marinette Marine president and CEO. "LCS 21 and her sister ships will soon represent the interests of the United States where and when needed."
Headquartered in Bethesda, Maryland, Lockheed Martin is a global security and aerospace company that employs approximately 100,000 people worldwide and is principally engaged in the research, design, development, manufacture, integration and sustainment of advanced technology systems, products and services. This year the company received three Edison Awards for ground-breaking innovations in autonomy, satellite technology and directed energy.
Fincantieri is the leading western shipbuilder with a rich history dating back more than 230 years, and a track record of building more than 7,000 ships. Fincantieri Marine Group is the American subsidiary of Fincantieri. Fincantieri Marine Group's more than 2,100 steelworkers, craftsman, engineers and technicians in the United States specialize in the design, construction and maintenance of merchant ships and government vessels, including for the United States Navy and Coast Guard.
Gibbs & Cox, the nation's leading independent maritime solutions firm specializing in naval architecture, marine engineering and design, is headquartered in Arlington, Virginia. The company, founded in 1929, has provided designs for nearly 80 percent of the current U.S. Navy surface combatant fleet; approaching 7,000 naval and commercial ships have been built to Gibbs & Cox designs.