The Lockheed Martin-led shipbuilding team launched Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) 21, the future USS Minneapolis-Saint Paulinto the Menominee River at the Fincantieri Marinette Marine Shipyard. Ship sponsor Jodi J. Greene, Deputy Under Secretary of the U.S. Navy for Policy, christened LCS 21 just prior to launch. “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 U.S. Navy’s fleet.
It is flexible—with 40 percent of the hull easily reconfigurable, LCS can be modified to integrate capabilities including over-the-horizon missiles, advanced electronic warfare systems and decoys, and in the future, vertical launching systems or laser weapon systems.
It is fast—capable of speeds in excess of 40 knots.
It is automated—with the most efficient staffing of any combat ship.
It is lethal—standard equipped with Rolling Airframe Missiles (RAM) and a Mark 110 gun, capable of firing 220 rounds per minute.